ABO-Incompatible Living Donor Kidney Transplantation Without Post-Transplant Therapeutic Plasma Exchange

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Blood group incompatibility remains a significant barrier to kidney transplantation. Approximately, one-third of donors are blood group incompatible with their intended recipient. Options for these donor-recipient pairs include blood group incompatible transplantation or kidney paired donation. However, the optimal protocol for blood group incompatible transplantation is unknown. Protocols differ in techniques to remove ABO antibodies, titer targets, and immunosuppression regimens. In addition, the mechanisms of graft accommodation to blood group antigens remain poorly understood. We describe a blood group incompatible protocol using pretransplant therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin, and rituximab in addition to prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil, and tacrolimus. In this protocol, we do not exclude patients based on a high initial titer and do not implement post-transplant TPE. All 16 patients who underwent this protocol received a living donor transplant with 100% patient and graft survival, and no reported episodes of antibody-mediated rejection to date with a median follow-up of 2.6 years (range 0.75–4.7 years). We conclude that blood group incompatible transplantation can be achieved without post-transplant TPE. J. Clin. Apheresis 30:340–346, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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