Histological long-term outcomes from acute antibody-mediated rejection following ABO-compatible liver transplantation

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Background and Aim:

Acute antibody-mediated rejection (aAMR) is an unusual complication after orthotopic ABO-compatible liver transplantation. To date, the clinical and histological long-term outcomes after aAMR are not well known.


Herein, we describe nine cases of aAMR that occurred in our liver-transplant center between 2008 and 2016, with an initial and reevaluation liver biopsy available for reexamination.


Two patients presented with aAMR at 10.5 (10, 11) days post-transplantation, caused by preformed donor-specific antibodies. Seven other recipients developed de novo donor-specific antibodies and aAMR at 11.2 (3–24) months post-transplantation. Eight of the nine patients received a B-cell targeting agent (rituximab, with or without plasma exchange), associated with polyclonal antibodies (three patients) or intravenous immunoglobulins (three patients). At the last follow up (i.e. 21 [4–90] months post-aAMR), seven patients were alive, including two patients with normal liver tests. Grafts' survival was 66%. A liver biopsy performed at 11.5 (5–48.5) months after the first biopsy showed no significant improvement in aAMR score (from 2 ± 1.3 to 1.6 ± 1.5, P = 0.6), a significant improvement in chronic AMR score (from 37 ± 9 to 25 ± 8, P = 0.003) and an increase in the Metavir score (1.2 ± 0.6 to 2.1 ± 0.9, P = 0.03).


In this study, a B-cell-depleting agent seemed to improve the prognosis of aAMR in selected cases, but several patients kept active lesions antibody-mediated rejection.

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