Experimental and clinical transplantation : official journal of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation 2017 04 27() doi 10.6002/ect.2016.0346
Preformed donor-specific antibodies against human leukocyte antigen can induce antibody-mediated rejection after organ transplant. Hence, future transplant recipients undergo pretransplant screening for preformed antibodies (ie, virtual crossmatch). Subsequently, prospective (analytic) crossmatching is performed using conventional, complement-dependent cytotoxicity assays and/or flow cytometry-based methods. The present article reviews factors that must be considered when unexpected, positive, prospective crossmatches are observed. First, the prozone effect caused by the interference of complement or immunoglobulin M must be abrogated by treating the serum with moderate heat, dilution, hypotonic dialysis, EDTA, or dithiothreitol. Second, the physician must check for the presence of potentially interfering autoantibodies (in a context of autoimmune disease or human immunodeficiency virus infection) or therapeutic antibodies (such as rituximab and antithymocyte globulin). In conclusion, knowledge of each assay’s technical characteristics will enable the physician to reliably interpret any discrepancies. The reasons for an unexpected, positive, prospective crossmatch must be elucidated before transplant to ensure efficient organ allocation and optimize patient outcomes.