Combining vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) with intestinal transplantation to achieve primary abdominal closure has become a feasible procedure. Besides facilitating closure, the abdominal wall can be used to monitor intestinal rejection. As the inclusion of a VCA raises the possibility of an enhanced alloimmune response, we investigated the incidence and clinical effect of de novo donor-specific HLA antibodies (dnDSA) in a cohort of patients receiving an intestinal transplant with or without a VCA. The sequential clinical study includes 32 recipients of deceased donor intestinal and VCA transplants performed between 2008 and 2015; eight (25%) modified multivisceral transplants and 24 (75%) isolated small bowel transplants. A VCA was used in 18 (56.3%) cases. There were no episodes of intestinal rejection without VCA rejection. Fourteen patients (14 of 29; 48.3%) developed dnDSA. In the VCA group, fewer patients developed dnDSA; six of 16 (37.5%) VCA vs. eight of 13 (61.5%) non-VCA. There was no statistically significant difference in one- and 3-year overall graft survival stratified for the presence of dnDSA; P = 0.286. In the study, there is no evidence that the addition of a VCA increases the incidence of dnDSA formation compared to transplantation of the intestine alone.
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donor-specific antibodies, intestinal transplantation, rejection, vascularised composite allograft, Adult, Aged, Female, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, HLA Antigens, Humans, Immunosuppression, Intestine, Small, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Transplantation Immunology, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation, Young Adult