Preformed donor-specific human leukocyte antigen antibodies (DSAs) are considered a contraindication to the transplantation of most solid organs other than the liver. Conflicting data currently exist on the importance of preformed DSAs in rejection and patient survival after liver transplantation (LT). To evaluate preformed DSAs in LT, we retrospectively analyzed prospectively collected samples from all adult recipients of primary LT without another organ from January 1, 2000 to May 31, 2009 with a pre-LT sample available (95.8% of the patients). Fourteen percent of the patients had preformed class I and/or II DSAs with a mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) ≥ 5000. Preformed class I DSAs with an MFI ≥ 5000 remained persistent in only 5% of patients and were not associated with rejection. Preformed class II DSAs with an MFI of 5000 to 10,000 remained persistent in 23% of patients, and this rate increased to 33% for patients whose MFI was ≥10,000 (P < 0.001). Preformed class II DSAs in multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling were associated with an increased risk of early rejection [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.58; p = 0.004]. In addition, multivariate modeling showed that in comparison with no DSAs (MFI < 1000), preformed class I and/or II DSAs with an MFI ≥ 5000 were independently correlated with the risk of death (HR = 1.51; p = 0.02). Liver Transpl 19:973-980, 2013.
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