Korean J Blood Transfus.  2019 Apr;30(1):1-14. 10.17945/kjbt.2019.30.1.1.

Desensitization in HLA Incompatible Transplantation

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea. borae.park@gmail.com


In terminally ill patients, organ transplantation could be recommended as the treatment of choice. In Korea, living donor liver or kidney transplantation is much more frequent than deceased donor transplantation due to organ shortages from deceased donors. ABO or HLA incompatibility in transplantation can be a major barrier in living donor transplantation. Currently, the rate of ABO incompatible organ transplantation accompanied by desensitization is 20~25% of living donor transplantation, and the blood bank laboratory plays an active role by plasmapheresis. The desensitization of HLA incompatible transplantation in highly sensitized patients is more difficult than that of ABO incompatible transplantation. The HLA antibody is not easy to remove and it is difficult to prevent sensitization. In addition, setting the target treatment goals and predicting the treatment outcomes based on the HLA antibody results are problematic. Therefore, a range of desensitization protocols have been attempted and various therapeutic goals have been introduced. This article reviews the various desensitization methods for antibody removal focusing on HLA incompatible kidney transplantation, and discusses the prognosis of desensitization methods for antibody removal based on the literature.


HLA; Plasmapheresis; Desensitization; Transplantation
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