International Perfusion Association


An in vitro Comparison of Intra-Operative Isohemagglutinin and Human Leukocyte Antigen Removal Techniques in Pediatric Heart Transplantation

Background: Highly sensitized pediatric patients awaiting heart transplantation experience longer wait times and thus higher waitlist mortality. Similarly, children less than 2 years of age have increased waitlist times and mortality when compared to their older peers. To improve the likelihood of successful transplantation in these patients, various strategies have been utilized, including peri-operative plasmapheresis. However, limited data exists comparing plasmapheresis techniques for antibody reduction. This study’s aim was to compare the in vitro magnitude of isohemagglutinin titers (IT) and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibody removal and the time required between membrane-based plasmapheresis (MP) and centrifuge-based plasmapheresis (CP) incorporated into the extracorporeal (EC) circuit. Methods: Two MP (Prismaflex) and two CP (Spectra Optia, Terumo BCT) circuits were incorporated into four separate EC circuits primed with high titer, highly sensitized type O donor whole blood. Assays were performed to determine baseline IT and anti-HLA antibodies and then at 30-minute increments until completion of the run (two plasma volume exchanges) at two hours. Results: There was a decrease in anti-A and anti-B IgM and IgG titers with both MP and CP. Mean anti-A and anti-B titer reduction was by 4.625 titers (93.7% change) and 4.375 titers (93.8% change) using MP and CP, respectively. At 2 h of apheresis, CP reduced 62.5% of all ITs to ≤ 1:4, while MP reduced 50% of ITs to ≤ 1:4. Additionally, reduction of anti-HLA class II antibody to mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) <3000 was achieved with both MP and CP. At 2 h of apheresis, CP reduced MFI by 2–3.5 fold and MP reduced MFI by 1.7–2.5 fold. Both demonstrated similar hemolytic and thrombotic profiles. Conclusions: In this in vitro plasmapheresis model of IT and anti-HLA antibody reduction, both MP and CP incorporated into the EC circuit can be used quickly and effectively to reduce circulating antibodies. While CP may have some greater efficiency, further study is necessary to verify this in vivo.

Keywords: Isohemagglutinin, Human Leukocyte Antigen, Plasmapheresis, Pediatric Heart Transplantation

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