Pretransplantation crossmatching is an integral part of kidney transplantation. Flow cytometric crossmatch (FCXM) is more sensitive than complement-dependent cytotoxic crossmatch (CDC-XM). However, the clinical significance of positive FCXM with negative CDC-XM is controversial. We evaluated FCXM in 455 consecutive deceased donor renal transplants. All had a negative CDC-XM. There were 341 T-cell and B-cell FCXM negative and 38 T-cell and B-cell positive. There was a higher percentage of retransplantations and HLA mismatches (26.3% vs 8.2%, P= .002 and 2.45 vs 1.99, P= .02, respectively) in the FCXM-positive group compared with the FCXM-negative group; 65.8% of the FCXM-positive patients had rejection compared with 49.3% of the FCXM-negative patients (odds ratio [OR]=1.89, P= .06). FCXM-positive patients had a higher incidence of vascular rejection (28.9% vs 12.6%, OR=2.68, P= .008). One- and 5-year graft survivals were 84% and 66% in the FCXM-positive group vs 90% and 75% in the FCXM-negative group. Censoring for patient death, 1- and 5-year graft survivals were 84% and 73% in the FCXM-positive group vs 94% and 82% in the FCXM-negative group. There was no difference in renal function between the 2 groups. In conclusion, a positive T-cell and B-cell FCXM transplant with a negative CDC-XM is associated with a higher incidence of rejection, twice the risk of vascular rejection, and a trend toward poorer graft survival.
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