New Strategy for ABO-Incompatible Living Donor Liver Transplantation With Anti-CD20 Antibody (Rituximab) and Plasma Exchange
It is more difficult to control humoral rejection in living donor liver transplantations (LDLT) across the ABO blood group barrier than in matched or compatible combinations. We achieved excellent results in ABO-incompatible transplantation with novel immunosuppressive regimens and plasma exchange (PE). Among 82 LDLT were 10 cases of ABO-incompatible recipients, including three who were administered rituximab for rescue or prophylactic therapy. Pretransplantation PE was performed as necessary to maintain hemagglutinin titers below 1:16 and posttransplantation PE was performed when there were signs of hyperacute rejection associated with high titers. Induction immunosuppression consisted of FK506, steroid, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and rituximab. The first patient was administered rituximab with deoxyspergualin (DSG), steroid pulse therapy, and PE on postoperative day (POD) 7, because of biopsy-proven humoral acute rejection. The titers and LFTs improved drastically. The second and third patients were administered rituximab just after the operation with other routine immunosuppressants for prophylaxis of hyperacute rejection. The second patient showed a slight deterioration in LFTs with an elevated titer, which normalized after steroid pulse therapy and PE. The third patient had no episodes of rejection. At present, that is 27, 17, and 6 months after the operations respectively, the 3 transplant recipients are in stable condition.