Human leukocyte antigen mismatches associated with increased risk of rejection, graft failure, and death independent of initial immunosuppression in renal transplant recipients

Wai H. Lim, Steve J. Chadban, Philip Clayton, Charley A. Budgeon, Kevin Murray, Scott B. Campbell, Solomon Cohney, Graeme R. Russ, Stephen P. Mcdonald

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatches have been shown to adversely affect renal allograft outcomes and remain an important component of the allocation of deceased donor (DD) kidneys. The ongoing importance of HLA mismatches on transplant outcomes in the era of more potent immunosuppression remains debatable. Using Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry, live and DD renal transplant recipients between 1998 and 2009 were examined. The association between the number of HLA mismatches and HLA-loci mismatches and outcomes were examined. Of the 8036 renal transplant recipients, 59% had between 2 and 4 HLA mismatches. Compared with 0 HLA mismatch, increasing HLA mismatches were associated with a higher risk of graft failure and patient death in the adjusted models. HLA mismatches were associated with an incremental risk of rejection although the relative risk was higher for live donor kidney transplants. Increasing HLA-AB and HLA-DR mismatches were associated with a greater risk of acute rejection, graft failure, death-censored graft failure, and/or death. There was no consistent association between initial immunosuppressive regimen and outcomes. Our results corroborate and extend the previous registry analyses demonstrating that HLA mismatches are associated with poorer transplant outcomes independent of immunosuppression and transplant era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E428-E437
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • ANZDATA registry
  • Graft survival
  • Human leukocyte antigen
  • Kidney transplant
  • Rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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