Presentation and outcomes of C4d-negative antibody-mediated rejection after kidney transplantation

B. J. Orandi, N. Alachkar, E. S. Kraus, F. Naqvi, Bonnie Lonze, L. Lees, K. J. Van Arendonk, C. Wickliffe, S. M. Bagnasco, Andrea A Zachary, D. L. Segev, Robert Avery Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The updated Banff classification allows for the diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in the absence of peritubular capillary C4d staining. Our objective was to quantify allograft loss risk in patients with consistently C4d-negative AMR (n = 51) compared with C4d-positive AMR patients (n = 156) and matched control subjects without AMR. All first-year posttransplant biopsy results from January 2004 through June 2014 were reviewed and correlated with the presence of donor-specific antibody (DSA). C4d-negative AMR patients were not different from C4d-positive AMR patients on any baseline characteristics, including immunologic risk factors (panel reactive antibody, prior transplant, HLA mismatch, donor type, DSA class, and anti-HLA/ABO-incompatibility). C4d-positive AMR patients were significantly more likely to have a clinical presentation (85.3% vs. 54.9%, p < 0.001), and those patients presented substantially earlier posttransplantation (median 14 [interquartile range 8-32] days vs. 46 [interquartile range 20-191], p < 0.001) and were three times more common (7.8% vs 2.5%). One- and 2-year post-AMR-defining biopsy graft survival in C4d-negative AMR patients was 93.4% and 90.2% versus 86.8% and 82.6% in C4d-positive AMR patients, respectively (p = 0.4). C4d-negative AMR was associated with a 2.56-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.08-6.05, p = 0.033) increased risk of graft loss compared with AMR-free matched controls. No clinical characteristics were identified that reliably distinguished C4d-negative from C4d-positive AMR. However, both phenotypes are associated with increased graft loss and thus warrant consideration for intervention. This study shows kidney transplant recipients with c4d-negative antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) are indistinguishable from c4d-positive AMR recipients in terms of baseline demographic and transplant characteristics, but c4d-negative AMR presents significantly later posttransplant and is more likely to be subclinical, and both groups have worse graft survival than AMR-free matched controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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