HLA-DQ Mismatches and Rejection in Kidney Transplant Recipients

W.H. Lim, Jeremy R. Chapman, Patrick Coates, Joshua Lewis, Graeme R. Russ, Narelle Watson, Rhonda Holdsworth, Germaine Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives The current allocation algorithm for deceased donor kidney transplantation takes into consideration HLA mismatches at the ABDR loci but not HLA mismatches at other loci, including HLA-DQ. However, the independent effects of incompatibilities for the closely linked HLA-DQ antigens in the context of HLA-DR antigen matched and mismatched allografts are uncertain. We aimed to determine the effect of HLA-DQ mismatches on renal allograft outcomes. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Using data from the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry, we examined the association between HLA-DQ mismatches and acute rejections in primary live and deceased donor kidney transplant recipients between 2004 and 2012 using adjusted Cox regression models. Results Of the 788 recipients followed for a median of 2.8 years (resulting in 2891 person-years), 321 (40.7%) and 467 (59.3%) received zero and one or two HLA-DQ mismatched kidneys, respectively. Compared with recipients who have received zero HLA-DQ mismatched kidneys, those who have received one or two HLA-DQ mismatched kidneys experienced greater numbers of any rejection (50 of 321 versus 117 of 467; P<0.01), late rejections (occurring >6 months post-transplant; 8 of 321 versus 27 of 467; P=0.03), and antibody-mediated rejections (AMRs; 12 of 321 versus 38 of 467; P=0.01). Compared with recipients of zero HLA-DQ mismatched kidneys, the adjusted hazard ratios for any and late rejections in recipients who had received one or two HLA-DQ mismatched kidneys were 1.54 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.08 to 2.19) and 2.85 (95% CI, 1.05 to 7.75), respectively. HLA-DR was an effect modifier between HLA-DQ mismatches and AMR (P value for interaction =0.02), such that the association between HLA-DQ mismatches and AMR was statistically significant in those who have received one or two HLA-DR mismatched kidneys, with adjusted hazard ratio of 2.50 (95% CI, 1.05 to 5.94). Conclusions HLA-DQ mismatches are associated with acute rejection, independent of HLA-ABDR mismatches and initial immunosuppression. Clinicians should be aware of the potential importance of HLA-DQ matching in the assessment of immunologic risk in kidney transplant recipients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-883
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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