International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1549–1557

Kidney transplantation after desensitization in sensitized patients: a Korean National Audit


  • Kyu Ha Huh
    • Department of SurgeryYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Beom Seok Kim
    • Department of Internal MedicineYonsei University College of Medicine
    • Transplantation CenterSeoul National University Hospital
    • Transplantation Research InstituteSeoul National University College of Medicine
  • Jeongmyung Ahn
    • Department of Internal MedicineMaryknoll Medical Center
  • Myung-Gyu Kim
    • Transplantation CenterSeoul National University Hospital
  • Jae Berm Park
    • Department of SurgeryUniversity of Ulsan College of Medicine
  • Jong Man Kim
    • Department of SurgerySungkyunkwan University School of Medicine
  • Byung-Ha Chung
    • Department of Internal MedicineThe Catholic University of Korea
  • Joong Kyung Kim
    • Department of MedicineBong Seng Hospital
  • Jin Min Kong
    • Department of Internal MedicineMaryknoll Medical Center
Nephrology – Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11255-012-0169-1

Cite this article as:
Huh, K.H., Kim, B.S., Yang, J. et al. Int Urol Nephrol (2012) 44: 1549. doi:10.1007/s11255-012-0169-1



The number of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients with preformed antibodies waiting for a kidney transplant has been increasing lately. We conducted a nationwide study on the outcomes of kidney transplantation after desensitization in Korea.


Six transplant centers have run desensitization programs. The patients who underwent living donor kidney transplantation after desensitization from 2002 to 2010 were retrospectively analyzed.


A total of 86 cases were enrolled. Thirty-five of these were cases of re-transplantation (40.7 %). Indications of desensitization were positive complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) cross-match responses (CDC+, 36.0 %), positive flow-cytometric cross-match responses (FCX+, 54.7 %), and positive donor-specific antibodies (DSA+, 8.1 %). The desensitization protocols used pre-transplant plasmapheresis (95.3 %), intravenous immunoglobulin (62.8 %), and rituximab (67.4 %). Acute rejection occurred in 18 patients (20.9 %), graft failure occurred in 4 patients, and the 3-year graft survival rate was 93.8 %. The presence of DSA increased the acute rejection rate (P = 0.015) and decreased the 1-year post-transplant estimated glomerular filtration rate (P = 0.006). Although rejection-free survival rates did not differ significantly between the CDC+ and FCX+ groups, the 1-year estimated glomerular filtration rate was lower in the CDC+ group (P = 0.010). Infectious and significant bleeding complications occurred in 15.5 % and 4.7 % of cases, respectively.


Kidney transplantation after desensitization had good graft outcomes and tolerable complications in Korea, and therefore, this therapy can be recommended for sensitized ESRD patients.


Immunologic desensitizationKidney transplantationRejection

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2012