Alemtuzumab as Second-Line Treatment for Late Antibody-Mediated Rejection of Transplanted Kidneys

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Whether the anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab can be an effective treatment option for late antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is not known. In a single-center pilot study, 12 patients with late ABMR were given 30 mg subcutaneous alemtuzumab.Median time from transplantation to biopsy was 22 months with 10 of 12 recipients fulfilling criteria for the histologic diagnosis chronic-active ABMR. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) loss before diagnosis was 1.2 mL/min/mo with graft loss (eGFR <15 mL/min) expected to occur within 2 years in 11 of 12 cases. All recipients showed no or an inadequate response to initial treatment with steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin. eGFR at time of alemtuzumab administration was 35 mL/min/1.73 m2 (IQR, 30-42) and stabilized or improved in 10 of 12 recipients within 12 months. Proteinuria was stable in the year after alemtuzumab. At 3-year follow-up, the death-censored graft survival was 68% (uncensored graft survival was 58%). Five cases of 10 cases that could be evaluated at 3-year follow-up had stable eGFR (on average 44 mL/min at 12 months and 42 mL/min at 36 months). Alemtuzumab was generally well tolerated and only 2 cases of opportunistic infections were noted. One case of symptomatic parvovirus B infection and 1 case of BK viral infection occurred, which both cleared at follow-up. In conclusion, alemtuzumab may be of value as a second-line treatment for late ABMR with rapid loss of eGFR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2206-2211
Number of pages6
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thanks J. von der Thussen and M. Clahsen-van Groningen for reviewing the pathology slides and D. Roelen for preforming CDC tests and assessment of the DSA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


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