The value of high-resolution HLA in the perioperative period of non-sensitized lung transplant recipients

Ji Zhang, Dong Liu, Caixin Zhang, Min Zhou, Jian Lv, Hongmei Wang, Hang Yang, Li Fan, Bo Wu, Jingyu Chen


Background: The importance of HLA antigen matching is widely recognized and accepted worldwide. With the improvement of diagnostic methods, recent studies have shown that eplet mismatched for organ transplantation is essential. In the field of lung transplantation, eplet mismatch (MM) is closely related to chronic rejection after lung transplantation. To further investigate the relationship between early graft failure and acute rejection, we performed high-resolution HLA analysis on 59 patients in our center.
Methods: We conduct high-resolution HLA matching and Donor specific antibody (DSA) monitoring on 59 lung transplantation donors and recipients from April 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. Baseline data were collected composed of both recipient characteristics and transplant-related features. Clinical outcomes were primary graft dysfunction (PGD) and acute rejection (AR).
Results: Overall, for these 59 patients, HLA antigen mismatch is 7.19±1.61, eplet mismatch is 8.31±1.75 (P=0.0005). As the number of mismatch sites increases, the severity of PGD increased significantly, especially when presented both eplet mismatch and HLA-DQ mismatch. In this group of patients, 2 cases of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) occurred after transplantation, eplet MM 9 (HLA-DQ MM 2) and eplet MM 5 (HLA-DQ MM1). Both patients developed DSA after operation, and they are DQB1 06:01 and C07:02, respectively. There were 9 cases of death during the perioperative period. Five of them died of severe PGD, and 4 died of severe infection. All these 9 patients were with high-level eplet MM and HLA-DQ MM.
Conclusions: Perioperative PGD and AR closely related to HLA mismatches, especially eplet and HLA-DQ MM. It might be noteworthy to do complementary detection of eplet matching and DSA in lung transplant donors and recipients, to predict the risk of early PGD and acute rejection after lung transplantation.