Prognostic biomarkers of T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) have not been adequately studied in the modern era. We evaluated 803 renal transplant recipients and correlated HLA-DR/DQ molecular mismatch alloimmune risk categories (low, intermediate, high) with the severity, frequency, and persistence of TCMR. Allograft survival was reduced in recipients with Banff Borderline (HR 2.4, p=0.003) and Banff ≥IA TCMR (HR 4.3, p<0.0001) including a subset who never developed de novo donor-specific antibodies (p=0.002). HLA-DR/DQ molecular mismatch alloimmune risk categories were multivariate correlates of Banff Borderline and Banff ≥IA TCMR and correlated with the severity and frequency of rejection episodes. Recipient age, HLA-DR/DQ molecular mismatch category, and cyclosporin versus tacrolimus immunosuppression were independent correlates of Banff Borderline and Banff ≥IA TCMR. In the subset treated with tacrolimus (720/803) recipient age, HLA-DR/DQ molecular mismatch category, and tacrolimus coefficient of variation were independent correlates of TCMR. The correlation of HLA-DR/DQ molecular mismatch category with TCMR, including Borderline, provides evidence for their alloimmune basis. HLA-DR/DQ molecular mismatch may represent a precise prognostic biomarker that can be applied to tailor immunosuppression or design clinical trials based on individual patient risk.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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