Kidney transplantation of highly sensitized recipients under the new kidney allocation system: A reflection from five different transplant centers across the United States

Academic Article


  • © 2016 Deceased donor kidney allocation was reorganized in the United States to address several problems, including the highly sensitized patients disadvantaged with large, diverse repertoires of antibodies. Here, five transplant surgeons review their center's experience with the new allocation changes: highlighting areas of accomplishment, opportunities for improvement and, in some cases, stark differences in practice. Across these five centers the highly sensitized patients (CPRA ⩾98%) range from 5.5 to 9.2% of the 12,364 candidates on their collective waitlist. All centers reported greater rates of kidney transplantations in highly sensitized patients (12.4–27%). Three of the programs (Emory, UCSF, UW) relied upon the virtual crossmatch prior to organ acceptance in a majority of cases (70–86%)—the mere presence of antibody on HLA antibody screen was sufficient to exclude the donor in most cases at Emory and UCSF. Penn and UAB relied upon the physical flow crossmatch in almost all cases prior to proceeding with transplantation. Current or historical donor-specific antibody was occasionally crossed in certain cases at UW and UAB necessitating IVIG/plasmapheresis and/or B cell depletion perioperatively. Some authors raised concerns for cost efficiency given the increased need for organ/specimen transportation, and extensive use of hospital resources and ancillary services. In general, we found that the new allocation system has successfully achieved one of its primary goals—increased kidney transplantation in the disadvantaged, highly sensitized patients; the long-term outcomes in all patients and the cost ramifications of these changes will require continued reassessment and clarification.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Human Immunology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Parsons RF; Locke JE; Redfield RR; Roll GR; Levine MH
  • Start Page

  • 30
  • End Page

  • 36
  • Volume

  • 78
  • Issue

  • 1