Tailoring antibody testing and how to use it in the calculated panel reactive antibody era: The Northwestern University experience

Anat R. Tambur, Joseph Leventhal, Dixon B. Kaufman, John Friedewald, Joshua Miller, Michael M. Abecassis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND.: Patients with human leukocyte antigen antibodies constitute a significantly disadvantaged population among those awaiting renal transplantation. We speculated that more understanding of the patients' antibody makeup would allow a more "immunologic" evaluation of crossmatch data, facilitate the use of virtual crossmatch (XM), and lead to more transplantability of these patients. METHODS.: We retrospectively compared the transplantability and transplant outcome of two consecutive patient populations transplanted in our center. Group I (n=374) was evaluated using solid-phase base testing for determination of percentage panel reactive antibody ("PRA screen") with limited antibody identification testing. Group II (n=333) was tested in a more comprehensive manner with major emphasis on antibody identification, antibody strength assignment, and the use of pronase for crossmatch. RESULTS.: Given this approach, 49% (166/333) of the transplanted patients in group II were sensitized compared with 40% (150/374) of the recipients in group I; P=0.012. Transplant outcome at 1-year posttransplant was similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONS.: We conclude that comprehensive evaluation of human leukocyte antigen sensitization and application of immunologic in analyzing compatibility between donor and recipient can increase the transplantability of sensitized patients while maintaining similar outcome. Our approach is in line with United Network for Organ Sharing new guidelines for calculated panel reactive antibody and virtual XM analysis. We hope this report will prompt additional transplant programs to consider how they will use the new United Network for Organ Sharing algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1059
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 27 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CPRA
  • Highly-sensitized
  • Transplantability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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