BACKGROUND: The natural history of de novo donor-specific antibodies (dnDSA) after lung transplantation is not well-described. We sought to determine the incidence and risk factors associated with dnDSA and compare outcomes between recipients with transient (or isolated) vs persistent dnDSA after transplantation.
METHODS: A single-center review of all lung transplants from 1/2009-7/2013. DSAs were tested eight times in the first year and every 4 months thereafter. Outcomes examined included acute rejection and graft failure.
RESULTS: Median follow-up was 18 months (range: 1-61 months), and 24.6% of 333 first-time lung-only transplant recipients developed a dnDSA. Ethnicity, HLA-DQ mismatches, post-transplantation platelet transfusion and Lung Allocation Score >60 were associated with dnDSA (P<.05). Overall graft survival was worse for dnDSA-positive vs negative recipients (P=.025). Of 323 recipients with 1-year follow-up, 72 (22.2%) developed dnDSA, and in 25 (34.7%), the dnDSA was transient and cleared. Recipients with transient dnDSA were less likely to develop acute rejection than those with persistent dnDSA (P=.007).
CONCLUSIONS: Early post-lung transplantation, dnDSA occurred in 1/4 of recipients, was associated with peri-transplant risk factors and resulted in decreased survival. Spontaneous clearance of dnDSA, seen in one-third of recipients, was associated with a lower risk of acute rejection.
- Journal Article