Introduction: De novo donor-specific antibodies (dnDSA) directed against HLA are a major contributing factor to the chronic deterioration of renal allograft function. Several factors, including the degree of HLA matching, younger recipient age, and past sensitization events have been shown to increase the risk for the development of dnDSA. The development of dnDSA is also strongly associated with modifications in the immunosuppressive regimen, non-adherence, and under-immunosuppression. Areas covered: Tacrolimus is widely used after solid organ transplantation (SOT) and in recent years, both a high intra-patient variability in tacrolimus exposure and low tacrolimus exposure have been found to be associated with a higher risk of dnDSA development in kidney transplant recipients. This article provides an overview of current findings published in the recent 5 years regarding the relationship between tacrolimus exposure and variation therein and the development of dnDSA. Expert opinion: In this review, we describe how combining data on tacrolimus intra-patient variability and mean pre-dose concentration may be an effective tool to identify kidney transplant recipients who are at higher risk of developing dnDSA.

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Expert Review of Clinical Immunology
Department of Internal Medicine

Mendoza Rojas, A. (Aleixandra), Hesselink, D., van Besouw, N., Baan, C., & van Gelder, T. (2019). Impact of low tacrolimus exposure and high tacrolimus intra-patient variability on the development of de novo anti-HLA donor-specific antibodies in kidney transplant recipients. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology (Vol. 15, pp. 1323–1331). doi:10.1080/1744666X.2020.1693263