All chronic rejection failures of kidney transplants were preceded by the development of HLA antibodies

Po Chang Lee, Paul I. Terasaki, Steven K. Takemoto, Po Huang Lee, Chung Jye Hung, Yi Lin Chen, Alen Tsai, Huan Yao Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Recent studies show that almost all patients who have rejected a kidney transplant had human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies. In this study, we sought to determine whether patients develop HLA antibodies before chronic rejection. Methods. For the past 8 years, 139 patients who had undergone kidney transplantation were systematically examined, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based method, for the development of class-I and class-II HLA antibodies 3 months, 6 months, and yearly after transplantation. Chronic rejection was diagnosed by biopsy. Results. Among 29 patients with chronic rejection, 100% of the patients had HLA antibodies before rejection. Of these patients, 14 patients developed antibodies de novo. In contrast, among 110 patients with stable function, 27% of the patients developed HLA antibodies posttransplant (P<0.001). Conclusions. HLA antibodies were found in 29 consecutive cases of chronic rejection failures as much as one year before the loss of grafts. We conclude that HLA antibodies may be a prerequisite for chronic immunologic rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1194
Number of pages3
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 27 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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