Immunoadsorption and Its Application for Desensitizing Incompatible Kidney Transplant Candidates Who Have a Potential Living Donor

Sébastien Maggioni, Eric Faubel, Martine Hermelin, Asma Allal, Lionel Rostaing


Background. Plasmapheresis is widely used to remove potential deleterious antibodies from the blood. Because the volume of treated plasma is limited, plasmapheresis can be replaced by immunoadsorption (IA), a more tedious but sophisticated technique that enables treatment of larger volumes of plasma, i.e., > 4 L vs. 1.5–2 L. We have implemented in our department IA technique to replace plasmapheresis when we launched our ABO-incompatible (ABOi) and HLA-incompatible (HLAi) kidney-transplant programs with living kidney donors. In this setting, isoagglutinin titers (ABOi) or donor-specific alloantibodies (HLAi) have to be decreased drastically at pretransplant by apheresis and immunosuppression.
Methods. We designed a desensitization program based on IA, which was started in the first trimester of 2010 within the Acute Polyvalent Hemodialysis and Apheresis Unit (Toulouse University Hospital, France). We describe all the steps used to implement this IA technique. So far, we have performed > 225 IA sessions.
Results and Conclusions. The IA sessions were associated with a net body-weight gain of ~ 1 kg. Normally, IA is performed first and then hemodialysis on the same or following day; however, we were able to simultaneously perform IA with hemodialysis (tandem procedure). This tandem procedure has reduced costs. Implementation of IA has enabled the successful transplantation of 32 kidney patients.


ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation; desensitization; hemodialysis; HLA-incompatible kidney transplantation; immunoadsorption; living kidney transplantation

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