Use of complement binding assays to assess the efficacy of antibody mediated rejection therapy and prediction of graft survival in kidney transplantation

Daniel S. Ramon, Yihung Huang, Lili Zhao, Tris Ann Rendulic, Jeong M. Park, Randall S. Sung, Milagros Samaniego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Background The Luminex® single antigen bead assay (SAB) is the method of choice for monitoring the treatment for antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). A ⩾50% reduction of the dominant donor-specific antibody (IgG-DSA) mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) has been associated with improved kidney allograft survival, and C1q-fixing DSA activity is associated with poor outcomes in patients with AMR. We aimed to investigate if C1q-DSA can be used as a reliable predictor of response to therapy and allograft survival in patients with biopsy-proven AMR. Methods We tested pre- and post-treatment sera of 30 kidney transplant patients receiving plasmapheresis and low-dose IVIG for biopsy-proven AMR. IgG-DSA and C1q-DSA MFI were measured and correlated with graft loss or survival. Patients were classified as nonresponders (NR) when treatment resulted in <50% reduction in MFI of IgG-DSA and/or C1q-DSA was detectable following therapy. Results Differences in the percentage of patients deemed NR depended upon the end-point criterion (73% by reduction in IgG-DSA MFI vs. 50% by persistent C1q-DSA activity). None of the seven patients with <50% reduction of IgG-DSA but non-detectable C1q-DSA-fixing activity after therapy experienced graft loss, suggesting that C1q-DSA activity may better correlate with response. Reduction of C1q-DSA activity predicted graft survival better than IgG-DSA in the univariate Cox analysis (20.1% vs. 5.9% in NR; log-rank P-value = 0.0147). Conclusions A rapid reduction of DSA concentration below the threshold required for complement activation is associated with better graft survival, and C1q-DSA is a better predictor of outcomes than IgG-DSA MFI reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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