Protein a Immunoadsorption May Hamper the Decision to Transplant Due to Interference With CDC Crossmatch Results

Pernille Koefoed-Nielsen, Claus Bistrup, Mette Christiansen

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Transplanting immunized patients requires immunological monitoring in the pretransplant phase to follow reduction of donor specific HLA antibodies (DSA) after Staphylococcus aureus protein A (SPA) immunoadsorption (IA) or therapeutic plasma exchange followed by IVIG and Rituximab administration. Pretreatment aims to significantly reduce DSA strength. The Tissue Typing Lab at Aarhus University Hospital performs immunological monitoring of approximately 150 kidney transplantation patients per year from two transplant centers. From 2012 to 2013, we experienced seven patients desensitized using SPA IA, initially presenting negative cytotoxic complement dependent (CDC) T-cell crossmatches but positive B and T cell flowcytometric crossmatch, who despite significant DSA reduction developed weakly positive CDC T-cell crossmatch shortly prior to transplantation. We hypothesised that leached SPA during IA could be the cause, as the complication was not observed in patients who received plasma exchanges. We found that the positive CDC was not donor specific and SPA column material incubated with control serum reproduced a positive CDC T-cell crossmatch. Finally, we detected leached SPA in one of the patient samples using a highly sensitive time-resolved fluorescent assay. In conclusion, the results emphasize the importance of carefully considering CDC crossmatch results subsequent to IA, before a planned transplantation is either postponed or cancelled. J. Clin. Apheresis 32:163-169, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Apheresis
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)163-169
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • HLA antigens
  • antibodies
  • cytotoxicity tests
  • immunologic
  • immunosorbent techniques
  • staphylococcal protein A


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