ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Histocompatibility Testing for Organ Transplantation Purposes in Albania: A Single Center Experience
Erkena Shyti 1, Genc Sulcebe 1, Alma Idrizi 2
1Laboratory of Immunology and Histocompatibility, University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”, Tirana, Albania
2Department of Nephrology, University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”, Tirana, Albania
DOI : 10.5152/balkanmedj.2014.13045
Pages : 121-125


Background: Histocompatibility testing (HT) which includes donor-recipient human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching, cross-match testing (XMT) and anti-HLA antibody searching are crucial examinations in solid organ transplantation aiming to avoid the hyperacute graft rejection and also to predict the immunological outcome of the graft.

Aims: The aim of this study was to analyse the tissue typing data collected at the Laboratory of Immunology and Histocompatibility of the University Hospital Center of Tirana, Albania, in order to define those actions that should be taken for improvements in the situation of kidney transplantation in Albania.

Design: Descriptive study.

Methods: The donor/recipient cross-match testing was performed through a standard complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) assay using separated donor T and B cells that were tested in parallel with the recipient serum sample. All recipient sera were screened for anti-Class I and anti-Class II HLA antibodies using a bead based Luminex anti-HLA antibody screening test. In the case of detected positivity, an allele-specific anti-HLA antibody determination was conducted with the respective Luminex anti-Class I and Class II HLA antibody determination kits.

Results: A total of 174 recipients and 202 donors were typed for the purpose of living donor kidney transplantation at our laboratory between January 2006 and December 2012. The mean age and female gender proportion of patients were 34.9 years and 34.5%, respectively, and 48.0 years and 65.3% for the donors, respectively. Here, 25.9% of the patients reported a positive complement-dependent cytotoxicity cross-match test and/or a positive anti-HLA antibody testing result. Eighteen patients that were negative for the complement-dependent cytotoxicity cross-match test were positive for anti-HLA antibodies.

Conclusion: The predominant causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in our patient population are chronic pyelonephritis and glomerulonephritis. The female gender is significantly more frequent among donors, which emphasises the need for more gender equity as far as the altruistic willingness for organ donation is concerned. The significant number of patients with Luminex anti-HLA antibody positivity combined with complement-dependent cytotoxicity cross-match negative results underlines the necessity of using additional methods like cell-based flow cytometry or bead-based Luminex anti-HLA antibody assays for the detection of anti-donor-specific antibodies. We also suggest that the number of kidney transplantations in Albania needs to be increased significantly by expanding it with paired exchange living donation and also by implementing an efficient deceased donor kidney transplantation program.

Keywords : Albanian population, end-stage renal disease, histocompatibility testing, human leukocyte antigens, kidney transplantation
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