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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


WORSLEY, Catherine M; MAYNE, Elizabeth S  and  SUCHARD, Melinda S. Luminex-based virtual crossmatching for renal transplantation in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.1, pp.40-43. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Current practice in the Johannesburg renal transplantation programme is to perform a transplant when the patient's complement-dependent cytotoxicity and flow cytometric crossmatches are negative. However, even in patients with negative crossmatches early graft rejections have occurred. We retrospectively evaluated the use of Luminex anti-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibody detection technology, often termed 'virtual crossmatching', compared with the flow cytometric crossmatch, for predicting graft outcome in renal transplant patients. METHODS: Sixty-four recipients were crossmatched against multiple donors during their routine work-up for transplant (111 crossmatches); 17 of these patients received transplants during the study period. Anti-HLA antibody detection was performed using Luminex technology and the results were compared with the flow cytometric crossmatch results and with short-term graft success. RESULTS: Compared with flow cytometric crossmatch results, the sensitivity and specificity of Luminex virtual crossmatching was 85.7% and 90.7% for the T-cell crossmatch and 100% and 87.2% for the B-cell crossmatch. Both the sensitivity and specificity of Luminex for predicting short-term graft success were 100%. CONCLUSION: Strong evidence is provided that single-antigen assays provide improved sensitivity to detect clinically relevant anti-HLA antibodies and can reliably be used to predict shortterm graft success. We recommend incorporation of single-antigen Luminex methodology into the routine work-up algorithm of renal transplant recipients in South Africa.

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