Background. High-dose IVIG (2 g/kg) alone or low-dose IVIG (100 mg/kg) in conjunction with plasma exchange is typically administered as a renal transplantation desensitization therapy. Herein, we monitored changes in T cell and B cell flow cytometry crossmatch (FCXM) to assess the effects of short-term super high-dose IVIG (4 g/kg) administration with plasmapheresis before living-donor renal transplantation. Methods. Seventeen patients, each showing positive T cell FCXM (median ratio, ≥ 1.4) after 2 rounds of double-filtration plasmapheresis, received 4-day regimens of IVIG (1 g/kg per day) over 1-week periods. T cell and B cell FCXM determinations were obtained after every IVIG dose and again up to 4 weeks after initiating IVIG to ascertain negative conversion of T cell FCXM (median ratio < 1.4). The primary study endpoint was the percentage of patients achieving T cell FCXM-negative status after the 4-dose IVIG regimen. Results. Upon completion (4 g/kg total) or discontinuation of IVIG administration, 8 (47.1%) of 17 patients displayed negative T cell FCXM. Based on Kaplan-Meier estimates, the cumulative T cell FCXM-negative conversion rate 4 weeks after IVIG administration initiation was 60.3%. The T cell FCXM-negative conversion rates after cumulative doses of 1, 2, 3, and 4 g/kg IVIG were 29.4%, 35.3%, 56.3%, and 46.7%, respectively. Conclusions. Desensitization of donor-specific antibody-positive renal transplant recipients seems achievable in only a subset of recipients through IVIG dosing (1 g/kg 4) within 1 week after double-filtration plasmapheresis. The T cell FCXM-negative conversion rate resulting from a cumulative IVIG dose of 3 g/kg or greater surpassed that attained via conventional single-dose IVIG (2 g/kg) protocol. This short-term high-dose IVIG desensitization protocol may be an alternative to conventional protocols for recipients with donor-specific antibody.
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