The present study compared the occurrence of rejection episodes during the first twelve posttransplant (Tx) months and the 1-, 2-, and 3-year graft survivals among recipients stratified by the percent panel reactive antibody (% PRA) of pre-Tx sera as detected using either an antihuman globulin determined PRA (AHG-% PRA) or an ELISA methodology detecting IgG reactive against soluble HLA class I antigens (% PRA-STAT). There was a significant correlation between AHG-PRA≤10% and a PRA-STAT≤10% (P<0.001). However, among 200 sera displaying an AHG-PRA≤10% (mean 57±21%), only 69% (138/200) displayed a PRA-STAT≤10%. With further study the discrepant finding, of 62 sera that were AHG-PRA≤10% but PRA-STAT <10%, was due to the presence of IgM and/or IgG non-MHC reactivity. In contrast, among 293 sera displaying an AHG- PRA <10% (mean 3±2%), 15% (43/293) displayed a PRA-STAT≤10%. There was no correlation between AHG-% PRA and rejection episodes occurring during the first twelve post Tx months. In contrast, however, there was a highly significant correlation between PRA-STAT≤10% and the occurrence of rejection episodes during the first twelve post-Tx months (P<0.001). Patients with PRA- STAT≤10% experienced a 70% rejection frequency compared with the 35% rejection frequency for patients with PRA-STAT sera < 10% (P<0.001). A significant correlation was observed between the presence of IgG-1 and rejection (P<0.01) but not IgG-subclasses 2, 3, or 4. Of particular interest was the observation in 11 patients that the presence of ELISA-detected IgA anti-HLA class I antigen (ELISA-IgA PRA≤10%) was associated with a significantly reduced rejection risk compared with sera where only PRA- STAT≤10% was present (27% vs. 70% incidence of rejection episodes, P<0.01). Finally, patients displaying pretransplant PRA-STAT results < 10% experienced significantly improved 1-, 2-, and 3- year graft survivals of 85% vs. 74%, 82% vs. 70% and 81% vs. 67%, respectively (P<0.01 for each time point), compared with patients displaying PRA-STAT results≤10%. These data suggest that the use of the ELISA methodology to detect IgG reactivity against soluble HLA class I antigens (PRA-STAT) may allow for the determination of a more clinically informative % PRA than the AHG-% PRA. Moreover, the presence of ELISA-detected IgA anti-HLA may act to inhibit rejection mechanisms associated with ELISA-detected IgG anti-HLA≤10%.
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