Dynamic Response of Donor-Derived Cell-Free DNA Following Treatment of Acute Rejection in Kidney Allografts

Theresa K Wolf-Doty, Roslyn B Mannon, Emilio D Poggio, Randall J Hinojosa, David Hiller, Jonathan S Bromberg, Daniel C Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The quantification of rejection treatment efficacy has been insufficient using traditional markers due, in part, to the lagging response of serum creatinine and histologic alterations on biopsy specimens. Donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) is a molecular marker of injury that may assess allograft injury after rejection.

Methods: Retrospective review of the DART study identified 70 patients who had a clinically indicated biopsy, simultaneous dd-cfDNA measurement, and at least one follow-up dd-cfDNA within 3 months post-treatment. Thirty-five patients had no biopsy-proven rejection and no rejection treatment (NR), 16 patients had no biopsy-proven rejection but did receive rejection treatment (CR), 9 patients had diagnosis of ABMR/mixed rejection on biopsy and received rejection treatment (ABMR), and 10 patients had diagnosis of TCMR and received rejection treatment (TCMR). The CR, ABMR, and TCMR groups combined to form a rejection (R) group.

Results: In the R group, median dd-cfDNA values at baseline and 1 month were 0.62% and 0.35% (n=21 pairs, p=0.34), and at baseline and 2-3 months were 0.77% and 0.21% (n=23 pairs, p=0.002). In TCMR, median dd-cfDNA values at baseline and 1 month were 1.13% and 0.37% (n=5 pairs, p=0.63), and at baseline and 2-3 months were 0.25% and 0.12% (n=9 pairs, p=0.004). In ABMR, median dd-cfDNA values at baseline and 1 month were 1.61% and 1.2 % (n=6 pairs, p>0.99), and at baseline and 2-3 months were 3.85% and 1.32% (n=6 pairs, p=0.09). In CR, median dd-cfDNA values at baseline and 1 month were 0.31% and 0.29% (n=10 pairs, p=0.38), and at baseline and 2-3 months were 0.38% and 0.17% (n=8 pairs, p=0.31). Lastly, in NR, median dd-cfDNA values at baseline and 1 month were 0.23% and 0.18% (n=21 pairs, p=0.10), and at baseline and 2-3 months were 0.33% and 0.17% (n=26 pairs, p=0.003). Changes in serum creatinine across 1 month and 2-3 months following rejection were similar.

Conclusions: dd-cfDNA may be a useful dynamic biomarker to assess the health of the kidney allograft following rejection treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-736
Number of pages8
JournalKidney360
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 29 2021

Keywords

  • Allografts
  • Cell-Free Nucleic Acids
  • Graft Rejection/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney/surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects

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