Long-Term Experience of Plasmapheresis in Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Renal Transplantation

Department of Nephrology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Transplantation Proceedings (Impact Factor: 0.98). 11/2009; 41(9):3690-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.06.197
Source: PubMed


Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) continues to pose a serious challenge in renal transplantation with potentially devastating consequences. Treatment options for this condition include plasmapheresis, high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), plasmapheresis with low-dose IVIG, and the use of rituximab (anti-CD20 chimeric antibody). We previously reported on the short-term outcome of plasmapheresis as a rescue therapy for AMR in our centre. We now report on the long-term follow up.
Over a 2.5-year study period, 440 cadaveric transplants were performed. AMR developed in 20 (4.5%) patients. Treatment included plasmapheresis and intensification of their immunosuppressive therapy.
Excluding two patients who had infarcted their grafts at diagnosis, 18 patients received plasmapheresis treatment for AMR. Of the 18 patients treated, 14 recovered function, two developed graft infarction within a fortnight of starting plasmapheresis, and two patients were withdrawn from treatment. In the 14 who recovered renal function, graft survival was 86% at 12 months. In this study we report on the 5-year follow-up of these AMR-treatment responders. Eleven patients have a functioning graft at 5 years; graft function was stable with a mean serum creatinine of 130 micromol/L at 5 years compared to 123 mumol/L at 1 year. At 5-years follow-up; graft survival was 78% and patient survival 93%.
Little information is available in the literature regarding the long-term outcome of this therapy. This is the first report on the long-term (5-year) follow-up of plasmapheresis as a rescue therapy for AMR.

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