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ABSTRACT: Blood transfusions are generally avoided for potential renal transplant recipients due to risk of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allosensitization. Despite the near universal use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, there are still occasions when patients require blood transfusions for reasons such as resistance to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents or cardiovascular instability. The risk of allosensitization in renal patients is believed to be lower with leuko-depleted blood. We sought to quantify the risk of blood transfusion per se in male renal patients on the transplant waiting list for their first kidney graft, using sensitive solid phase antibody detection.
Cross-sectional survey looking at the prevalence of HLA antibody detected using single antigen Luminex beads in male patients awaiting first renal transplantation.
One hundred sixteen male patients awaiting their first kidney transplant were identified on our waiting list. Seven of the 42 patients (16.7%) who received at least one unit of leuko-depleted blood developed HLA antibody (HLAab). Of the remaining 74 patients without a history of transfusion, 3 (4.1%) were found to have HLAab. All the antibodies identified were directed against class I antigens. A history of blood transfusion gave a relative risk of 4.1 of developing HLAab (P=0.02).
Male patients awaiting their first organ transplant had a fourfold increased risk of developing HLA antibody if they had been previously transfused when compared with those who did not have a history of a transfusion. Transfusion even in the postleukodepletion era continues to pose a significant risk of sensitization.
Transplantation 02/2012; 93(4):418-22. · 3.78 Impact Factor