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Transplantation in highly HLA-sensitized patients: challenges and solutions

Authors Kim I, Vo A, Jordan S

Received 17 June 2014

Accepted for publication 22 July 2014

Published 26 September 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 99—107

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TRRM.S50793

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 7


Irene K Kim, Ashley Vo, Stanley C Jordan

Transplant Immunotherapy Program, Comprehensive Transplant Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract: Despite better understanding of the impact of development of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibody and numerous advancements in immunosuppressive therapy, the ability to successfully transplant highly sensitized patients remains a significant challenge. As the percentage of the waiting list becomes increasingly populated with highly sensitized patients, there is a growing demand for effective strategies to manage these patients. Over the past 20 years, desensitization therapies have been modified and developed, and are mainly utilized at transplant centers that have developed expertise. In addition, recognition that the highly sensitized patient population is disadvantaged on the transplant waiting list has led to recent changes in national kidney allocation policy. Furthermore, creative strategies, such as enrollment of sensitized patients into paired kidney exchange programs, have been developed to find compatible matches for these patients. The goal of this article is to address some of the specific challenges related to transplanting the highly sensitized patient at a high-volume transplant center with experience in desensitization and to review established and emerging solutions to help this patient population.

Keywords:
human leukocyte antigen, antibodies, desensitization, high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin, rituximab

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