The fraction of sensitization among lung transplant recipients in a transplant center in Japan

Sakiko Kumata, Takashi Hirama, Yui Watanabe, Hisashi Oishi, Hiromichi Niikawa, Miki Akiba, Jussi Tikkanen, Yoshinori Okada

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Anti-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibody testing was approved by the Japanese government in 2018. As such, there was no longitudinal data regarding the HLA-sensitization of lung transplant (LTX) patients in Japan. We therefore set out to measure anti-HLA antibodies from all our LTX patients during their annual follow-up to characterize the sensitization status in the Japanese population. Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted for consecutive LTX recipients who underwent transplantation from January 2000 to January 2020 at Tohoku University Hospital (TUH). The serum from the recipients was screened for anti-HLA antibody with the panel-reactive assay (PRA) and the donor-specific antibodies (DSA). Results: Sensitization was reviewed in 93 LTX recipients, showing 23 positive (24.7%) and 70 negative (75.3%) PRA. More sensitized recipients were found in recent transplantations (60.9% (14/23), ≤5 years post LTX) than in older transplantations (17.4% (4/23), 5-10 years or 21.7% (5/23), ≥10 years post LTX) (p = 0.04). Even fewer recipients had DSA (5.4%, 5/93), among whom 4/5 (80%) were recently transplanted. Conclusion: The rate of PRA positive LTX recipients in our population was lower compared with those in previous reports from US and Europe. More sensitized LTRs were found in recent transplantations than the older cohort, and DSA was identified primarily in the recent recipients. Due to several limitations, it is still unclear whether the sensitization would be related the development of CLAD or survival, yet this study would be fundamental to the future anti-HLA body study in Japanese population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number256
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 2


  • Chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD)
  • Donor-specific antibodies (DSA)
  • Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)
  • Japan
  • Lung transplant
  • Panel-reactive assay (PRA)


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