A Comparison of Splenectomy versus Intensive Posttransplant Antidonor Blood Group Antibody Monitoring without Splenectomy in ABO-Incompatible Kidney Transplantation

Department of Nephrology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.83). 01/2006; 80(11):1572-7. DOI: 10.1097/
Source: PubMed


Although most protocols for ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation have employed splenectomy, its utility is unproven. The aim of the current study was to compare the outcomes of ABO-incompatible living donor kidney transplantation with splenectomy versus a protocol involving intensive posttransplant antibody monitoring to maintain low levels of antiblood group antibody.
We retrospectively studied all ABO-incompatible living donor kidney transplants at our institution between September 1999 and November 2004 (n=34). Prior to May 2003, all patients were included in a protocol involving pretransplant plasmapheresis and splenectomy at the time of transplant (n=23). After May 2003, splenectomy was not performed and a protocol that involved pretransplant anti-CD20 antibody and a more intensive posttransplant plasmapheresis regiment aimed at maintaining low levels of antiblood group antibody during the first 2 weeks following transplantation was utilized (n=11).
Patient and graft survival was similar in the two groups. Humoral rejection occurred in 18% nonsplenectomized and 30% of splenectomized patients (P=0.68). Humoral rejection correlated with the baseline antibody titer in both groups. Individuals with elevated baseline antibody titer (> or =1:256) appear to be at high risk for humoral rejection regardless of protocol used. Antiblood group antibody levels 3 and 12 months after transplantation were similar in both groups.
Splenectomy is not essential for successful ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation, although individuals with high baseline antidonor blood group antibody titers are at high risk for humoral rejection. The use of intensive posttransplant monitoring may help prevent antibody-mediated graft damage.

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