Whereas regular allocation avoids unacceptable mismatches on the donor organ, allocation to highly sensitized patients within the Eurotransplant Acceptable Mismatch (AM ) program is based on the patient’s HLA phenotype plus acceptable antigens. These are HLA antigens to which the patient never made antibodies, as determined by extensive laboratory testing. AM patients have superior long‐term graft survival compared with highly sensitized patients in regular allocation. Here, we questioned whether the AM program also results in lower rejection rates. From the PROCARE cohort, consisting of all Dutch kidney transplants in 1995‐2005, we selected deceased donor single transplants with a minimum of 1 HLA mismatch and determined the cumulative 6‐month rejection incidence for patients in AM or regular allocation. Additionally, we determined the effect of minimal matching criteria of 1 HLA ‐B plus 1 HLA ‐DR , or 2 HLA ‐DR antigens on rejection incidence. AM patients showed significantly lower rejection rates than highly immunized patients in regular allocation, comparable to nonsensitized patients, independent of other risk factors for rejection. In contrast to highly sensitized patients in regular allocation, minimal matching criteria did not affect rejection rates in AM patients. Allocation based on acceptable antigens leads to relatively low‐risk transplants for highly sensitized patients with rejection rates similar to those of nonimmunized individuals.
Full Access Link: American Journal of Transplantation