Utility of posttransplantation panel-reactive antibody measurements for the prediction of rejection frequency and survival of heart transplant recipients.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Seventy-six heart transplants in 73 patients were studied for the formation of lymphocytotoxic panel-reactive antibodies after transplantation. Treatment of patient serum with dithioerythritol was used to discriminate between antibodies of the immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G isotypes. Human leukocyte antigen specificities of immunoglobulin G panel reactive antibodies were determined by the pattern of reactivity with the cell panel used in the panel-reactive antibodies determinations. A total of 465 panel-reactive antibodies determinations were made during the first year after transplantation. RESULTS: Mean panel-reactive antibodies values were highest during the first posttransplantation month. Positive dithioerythritol-treated panel-reactive antibodies values were rare after the first month after transplantation. Multivariable analysis indicated that previous pregnancy and positive cytomegalovirus serologic analysis predicted a higher dithioerythritol-treated panel-reactive antibodies within the first 3 months. No decrease in actuarial survival, increase in cumulative rejection episodes, or increase in the incidence of coronary artery disease at 1 year was seen in patients with a standard panel-reactive antibodies greater than 10% or among patients with dithioerythritol-treated panel-reactive antibodies greater than 0%. A significant and major increase in rejection-related death or retransplantation occurred among 11 patients in whom donor human leukocyte antigen specific antibodies of the immunoglobulin G isotype were detected during the first posttransplantation year (p = 0.02). Two of the 11 patients died of refractory rejection and 3 and 6 months after transplantation, whereas one patient underwent retransplantation for refractory rejection at 13 months and subsequently died. CONCLUSIONS: (1) Posttransplantation serial standard panel-reactive antibodies or dithioerythritol-treated panel-reactive antibodies are not predictive of rejection-related mortality unless the specificity is determined to be antidonor HLA; (2) routine dithioerythritol-treated panel-reactive antibodies studies are advisable during the first month after transplantation, and, if positive (> 10%), antidonor human leukocyte antigen specificity should be determined; (3) detection of recipient immunoglobulin G anti-donor human leukocyte antigen antibodies after heart transplantation identifies a group at high risk for serious allograft rejection and should prompt more intensive rejection surveillance and consideration for additional immunotherapy.
  • Published In


  • Actuarial Analysis, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antilymphocyte Serum, Child, Child, Preschool, Dithioerythritol, Epitopes, Female, Graft Rejection, HLA Antigens, Heart Transplantation, Histocompatibility Testing, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin M, Infant, Isoantibodies, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Reoperation, Risk Factors, Time Factors
  • Pubmed Id

  • 15685018
  • Author List

  • George JF; Kirklin JK; Shroyer TW; Naftel DC; Bourge RC; McGiffin DC; White-Williams C; Noreuil T
  • Start Page

  • 856
  • End Page

  • 864
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 5