To determine whether ABO-incompatible (ABOi) kidney transplantation can be performed safely and result in acceptable posttransplantation outcomes.
In the 1½ years of a new program, 18 patients with renal failure and an ABOi living kidney donor were included in the study. All donors and recipients were of incompatible blood types and underwent transplantation beginning in June 2008.
Patients received immunomodulation (anti-CD20 antibody, intravenous immunoglobulin, and plasmapheresis) until an acceptable isoagglutinin titer was obtained on the date of transplantation. All the kidneys were transplanted heterotopically, and all the patients received induction immunosuppression followed by a combination of prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil, and tacrolimus. Isoagglutinin titers were monitored, and postoperative plasmapheresis was initiated if titers increased.
Main Outcome Measures
Patient and allograft survival; length of stay; 1-, 3-, and 6-month and 1-year renal function; and incidence of rejection.
Patient survival was 100%, with allograft survival of 94.4%. Mean (SD) length of stay was 6.9 (1.9) days. Donor to recipient transplantation was A to O in 11 cases, A2 to B in 1, B to A in 3, B to O in 1, and AB to B in 2. Mean (SD) creatinine levels, a measure of graft function, were 1.2 (0.5) mg/dL at discharge, 1.4 (0.4) mg/dL at 1 month, 1.3 (0.45) mg/dL at 3 months, 1.1 (0.3) mg/dL at 6 months, and 1.2 (0.2) mg/dL at 1 year. One episode of cellular rejection occurred.
These short-term results suggest that with a straightforward regimen, ABOi kidney transplantation is possible, acceptable results and graft function are obtainable, and access to kidney transplantation for those with a blood type–incompatible donor can be expanded.