© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd The effectiveness of desensitization with rituximab in ABO-incompatible renal transplantation (ABO-I) has been widely reported. However, ABO-I outcomes are still worse than those of ABO-identical or ABO-compatible renal transplantation (ABO-Id/C). We retrospectively examined the outcomes in consecutive living donor ABO-Id/C (n = 412) and ABO-I (n = 205) cases to elucidate the causes of inferiority in ABO-I. ABO-I cases included recipients treated with rituximab (RIT, n = 131), splenectomy (SPX, n = 21), or neither because of low anti-A/B antibody titers (NoR/S, n = 53). Graft survival, infection, and de novo HLA antibody production were compared for ABO-I and ABO-Id/C, followed by stratification into RIT and NoR/S groups. Propensity score-based methods were employed to limit selection bias and potential confounders. Overall graft survival for ABO-I was significantly lower than that for ABO-Id/C (92.8% vs 97.2% after 5 years, P =.0037). Graft loss due to infection with ABO-I was significantly more frequent than that with ABO-Id/C, whereas acute antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) caused no graft failure in ABO-I recipients. Stratified analysis demonstrated significantly higher infection risk with RIT than with NoR/S. Safe reduction or avoidance of rituximab in desensitization protocols might contribute to further improvement of ABO-I outcome.