Persistent C4d and antibody-mediated rejection in pediatric renal transplant patients
Pediatric renal transplant recipient survival continues to improve, but ABMR remains a significant contributor to graft loss. ABMR prognostic factors to guide treatment are lacking. C4d staining on biopsies, diagnostic of ABMR, is associated with graft failure. Persistent C4d+ on follow-up biopsies has unknown significance, but could be associated with worse outcomes. We evaluated a retrospective cohort of 17 pediatric renal transplant patients diagnosed with ABMR. Primary outcome at 12 months was a composite of ≥50% reduction in eGFR, transplant glomerulopathy, or graft failure. Secondary outcome was the UPCR at 12 months. We used logistic and linear regression modeling to determine whether persistent C4d+ on follow-up biopsy was associated with the outcomes. Forty-one percent reached the primary outcome at 12 months. Persistent C4d+ on follow-up biopsy occurred in 41% and was not significantly associated with the primary outcome, but was significantly associated with the secondary outcome (estimate 0.22, 95% CI 0.19-0.25, P < .001), after controlling for confounding factors. Persistent C4d+ on follow-up biopsies was associated with a higher UPCR at 12 months. Patients who remain C4d+ on follow-up biopsy may benefit from more aggressive or prolonged ABMR treatment.