JOURNAL ARTICLE
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C4d staining in post-reperfusion renal biopsy is not useful for the early detection of antibody-mediated rejection when CDC crossmatching is negative.

BACKGROUND: Sensitized patients (pts) may develop acute antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) due to preformed donor-specific antibodies, undetected by pre-transplant complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) crossmatch (XM). We hypothesized that C4d staining in 1-h post-reperfusion biopsies (1-h Bx) could detect early complement activation in the renal allograft due to preformed donor-specific antibodies.

METHODS: To test this hypothesis, renal transplants (n = 229) performed between June 2005 and December 2007 were entered into a prospective study of 1-h Bx and stained for C4d by immunofluorescence. Transplants were performed against a negative T-cell CDC-XM with the exception of three cases with a positive B-cell XM.

RESULTS: All 229 1-h Bx stained negative for C4d. Fourteen pts (6%) developed AMR. None of the 14 protocol 1-h Bx stained positive for C4d in peritubular capillaries (PTC). However, all indication biopsies-that diagnosed AMR-performed at a median of 8 days after transplantation stained for C4d in PTC.

CONCLUSIONS: These data show that C4d staining in 1-h Bx is, in general, not useful for the early detection of AMR when CDC-XM is negative.

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