Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Should Epitope-Based HLA Compatibility Be Used in the Kidney Allocation System?

The new kidney allocation system (KAS) still applies donor-recipient HLA compatibility at the antigen level and some four-digit alleles have been added recently. This system is used to record unacceptable mismatches for sensitized transplant candidates with serum HLA antibodies. Since the reactivities of such antibodies are specifically associated with epitopes rather than HLA antigens, a more scientifically accurate assessment of mismatch acceptability could be based on epitopes. HLA class I and class II epitope specificity analyses can now be readily performed with serum antibody assays with single allele panels. This report describes an epitope-based HLA compatibility system for KAS and involves recipient and donor HLA typing at the four-digit allele level. It focuses on sensitized patients who have serum antibodies specific for HLA epitopes that can be entered as unacceptable mismatches in the transplant candidate database. Newly developed software programs could readily identify compatible HLA types (read more)