Intravenous immunoglobulin, HLA allele typing and HLAMatchmaker facilitate successful transplantation in highly sensitized pediatric renal allograft recipients

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The use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in sensitized transplant candidates has resulted in reduced HLA antibody levels and shorter transplant wait times. In addition, the HLAMatchmaker program has been used to identify acceptable mismatches to permit transplantation in highly sensitized patients. We used IVIG desensitization in conjunction with high resolution HLA allele typing and HLAMatchmaker grading of donor offers to facilitate successful transplantation in two highly sensitized children who were awaiting second renal transplants. Both patients lost their initial transplant in <10 days to accelerated acute rejection, and were on dialysis for an average of 50 months with high panel reactive antibody (PRA) levels. They were started on monthly IVIG infusions (2 g/kg/dose). Within one wk following their third and fifth IVIG doses, both patients received a crossmatch compatible, deceased donor renal transplant selected by HLAMatchmaker as a suitable donor offer. Both patients remain rejection free with excellent renal function 19 and 15 months post-transplant, respectively. In conclusion, combining IVIG therapy and donor selection by HLA humoral epitope matching permitted successful transplantation of two highly sensitized children. Further studies in larger numbers of patients with longer follow-up are needed to determine the individual role played by, and relative importance of each component of this combined strategy.

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