Evaluation of serial monitoring of donor-specific antibodies in pediatric and adult intestinal/multivisceral transplant recipients

Kelsey Klein, Megan Keck, Eric Langewisch, Shaheed Merani, Kelley Hitchman, Mary Leick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The study purpose was to add to limited literature assessing anti-HLA donor-specific antibody (DSA) appearance, clearance, specificity, and impact in intestinal/multivisceral (MV) transplant as well as the value of serial monitoring following an institutional protocol shift implementing serial monitoring. Methods: This single-center retrospective review included intestinal/MV recipients transplanted 1/1/15–9/31/17 with completed DSA testing. Patients were divided into groups based on DSA presence post-transplant. The primary outcome was biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR). Secondary outcomes included graft loss and death. Descriptive analysis of DSA was completed. Results: Of the 35 intestinal/MV recipients (60% pediatric) with DSA testing, 24 patients had post-transplant DSA. Fifteen patients in the DSA(+) group had T-cell-mediated BPAR versus five in the DSA(−) group (63% vs 45%, p =.47). Days to BPAR were 25 [IQR 19–165] (DSA(+) group) versus 232 [IQR 25.5–632.5] (DSA(−) group) (p =.066). There were no differences between groups for graft loss or death. One hundred and five DSA were identified in the DSA(+) group with 63% being class II, and 54% cleared during follow-up. DSA were directed against 50 different HLA alleles, with the most common being directed against HLA- DQ (35%). Time to first DSA and to clearance did not differ between class I and II. Conclusion: Findings confirm previous data that suggest post-transplant DSA in this population may lead to increased BPAR or shorter time to BPAR, although not statistically significant. Most DSA were identified within the first month after transplant, and ahead of rejection identification on biopsy. DSA therefore may have utility as an early rejection biomarker and use may be considered in place of early protocol biopsies, particularly in pediatric patients. We identified novel findings of DSA directed against a large breadth of HLA in intestinal/MV patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14638
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • antibody-mediated rejection
  • donor-specific antibodies
  • intestinal (allograft) function/dysfunction
  • intestinal transplantation
  • monitoring: Immune
  • multivisceral transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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