Desensitization and Heart Transplantation of a Patient With High Levels of Donor-Reactive Anti-Human Leukocyte Antigen Antibodies.

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BACKGROUND.: To prepare a highly immunized recipient for heart transplantation, reduction of high levels of cytotoxic antibodies against human leukocyte antigen (HLA) was deemed essential to prevent antibody-mediated graft failure. METHODS.: Antibodies were analyzed by lymphocytotoxic and solid-phase assays. The pretransplant desensitization treatment protocol included daily tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil, weekly protein-A immunoadsorption (IA), intravenous immunoglobulin, and daclizumab. Posttransplant treatment consisted of tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, prednisolone, IA, and daclizumab. RESULTS.: During pretransplant desensitization, each of the weekly immunoadsorption treatments reduced anti-HLA antibody levels by 50% to 70%, but they returned to the pretreatment level within 1 week as measured by flow cytometry. Cytotoxic antibodies remained reduced. After perioperative immunoadsorption, the donor-reactive antibodies (DRAs) were reduced to low levels. The patient underwent successful heart transplantation after 6 weeks on a waiting list. During the first week posttransplant, DRAs remained low. However, after the first week, anti-HLA DRAs reappeared and increased slightly over a 3-week period and then decreased slowly. Cytotoxic crossmatches were negative before and 3 week after transplantation. No clinical rejection was encountered. The patient was doing well 3 years after transplantation, and yearly clinical cardiac investigations were all normal. Three hyperimmunized patients have now undergone successful heart transplantation at our center using this desensitization protocol. CONCLUSIONS.: IA in combination with pretransplant immunosuppressive drug treatment temporarily reduces antibody levels. The therapeutic levels of drug treatment at the time of transplantation may be of crucial importance. The treatment protocol resulted in freedom from rejection and other clinical adverse events.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1220-1225
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Thoracic Surgery (013230027), Cardiology (013230026), Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (013230022), Department of Nephrology (013230024), Division of Infection Medicine (SUS) (013008000)