HLA eplet mismatch load has been suggested as an improvement to HLA antigen mismatch determination for organ selection. Given that eplet mismatches are determined based on amino acid sequence difference among HLA alleles, and that the frequency of HLA alleles varies between racial groups, we investigated the correlation between eplet mismatch load and allograft outcomes in 110 pediatric kidney transplant recipients who received their first organ from a donor of the same race (SRT) versus a donor of a different race (DRT). Adjusted modified Poisson regression was used to assess the interaction between eplet mismatch load and race mismatch and its effect on outcome. Caucasians and living donor recipients had lower eplet mismatched loads against their donors compared with non-Caucasian and deceased donor recipients. Overall, for the entire population, the risk of de novo HLA-DSA development was significantly increased with higher eplet loads (p < 0.001). Compared with the SRT group, the DRT group had higher eplet loads when compared with their donor, for HLA class I but not HLA class II molecules; however, there was no significant difference in the incidence of de novo HLA-DSA between the 2 groups. The risk of rejection increased significantly for DRT compared with SRT, only when class I eplet load was ≥ 70 (p = 0.04). Together this data show that eplet mismatch load analysis is an effective tool for alloimmune risk assessment. If considered for donor selection, acceptable eplet mismatch loads determined from studies in homogenous populations may restrict transplantation across racially diverse donor and patient groups with no evidence of poor outcome. Therefore, an acceptable eplet mismatch load threshold must consider the heterogeneity of the transplant population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health