Author(s): Sijpkens YW, Doxiadis II, De Fijter JW, Mallat MJ, van Es LA,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Renal transplant loss from chronic rejection remains substantial. To increase our understanding of this syndrome, we identified risk factors predicting late graft loss, with a special emphasis on the impact of human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) matching. METHODS: We studied all 654 cadaveric kidney transplants performed in our center between 1983 and 1996 that had survived for more than six months. Eighty-two transplants, lost because of chronic rejection, were used as the outcome variable. The influence of HLA mismatches and shares on long-term graft survival was evaluated at the level of private antigens and cross-reactive groups (CREG) of multiple histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I. HLA and other recipient, donors and transplant parameters were studied using univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis. RESULTS: The cohort had a mean number of 1.9 HLA mismatches. Because of the homozygosity of HLA antigens, HLA mismatches were not reciprocal to shares. CREG and HLA-A-B mismatches had a relative risk for graft loss of 1.19 (95\% CI, 0.97 to 1.45) and 1.05 (0.84 to 1.32) per mismatch. In contrast, the relative risk per shared CREG and broad HLA-A-B antigen was 0.76 (0.63 to 0.92) and 0.79 (0.61 to 1.03). Multivariate analysis revealed that individuals sharing less than four CREGs had a relative risk of 2.13 (1.29 to 3.75) for late graft loss. Other independent predictors were a recipient age of less than 50 years, relative risk 1.95 (1.02 to 3.71); a donor age of more than 50 years, relative risk 1.68 (1.01 to 2.80); acute rejection (vascular vs. no rejection), relative risk 3.52 (1.72 to 7.18); proteinuria (dipstick > 1+ vs. negative), relative risk 2.86 (1.29 to 6.35); and a serum creatinine concentration of more than 150 micromol/liter at six months, relative risk 3.41 (1.96 to 5.94). CONCLUSION: We identified several coexisting recipient-, donor-, and transplant-related risk factors for graft loss from chronic rejection. In this well-matched group of renal transplants, HLA mismatches and shares had a nonreciprocal relationship. Sharing of HLA antigens, especially CREG of MHC class I, was associated with improved long-term survival.
This article was published in Kidney Int
and referenced in Journal of Clinical and Experimental Transplantation