Plasmapheresis (PP) and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) remove donor-specific antibodies, a cause of acute humoral rejection (AHR). We describe the use of PP and IVIg as rescue therapy for AHR. The records of 143 renal transplants performed between October 1, 2000 and April 1, 2002 were reviewed. Patients who underwent PP and IVIg therapy for AHR were identified. The data reviewed included age, sex, source of transplant, number of human leukocyte antigen mismatches, transplant number, number of PP and IVIg treatments, dose of IVIg, time of AHR, serum creatinine (SCr) level at AHR, SCr level after PP and IVIg at 3 months, days to achieve 30% decline in SCr, and graft survival. Immunosuppression included basiliximab induction, tacrolimus, and prednisone (± sirolimus or mycophenolate mofetil [CellCept, Roche Pharmaceutical, Nutley, NJ]). PP was followed by IVIG infusion. Nine patients were treated for AHR with PP and IVIg. All nine patients demonstrated biopsy-proven AHR. One graft was lost. Mean 3-month and 1-year SCr levels were 1.9 and 1.8, respectively, in the remaining eight patients. AHR in renal transplantation can be effectively treated with PP and IVIg.
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