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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy