Vo, Ashley A.1,6; Petrozzino, Jeffrey2,3; Yeung, Kai1; Sinha, Aditi4; Kahwaji, Joseph1; Peng, Alice1; Villicana, Rafael1; Mackowiak, John5; Jordan, Stanley C.1
Transplantation. 2013 Mar;95(6):852-858
Background: Transplantation rates are very low for the broadly sensitized patient (panel reactive antibody [PRA]>80%; HS). Here, we examine the efficacy, outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of desensitization using high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and rituximab to improve transplantation rates in HS patients.
Methods: From July 2006 to December 2011, 207 HS (56 living donors/151 deceased donors) patients (donor-specific antibody positive, PRA>80%) were desensitized using IVIG and rituximab. After desensitization, responsive patients proceeded to transplantation with an acceptable crossmatch. Cost and outcomes of desensitization were compared with dialysis.
Results: Of the 207 treated patients, 146 (71%) were transplanted. At 48 months, patient and graft survival by Kaplan–Meier were 95% and 87.5%, respectively. The total 3-year cost for patients treated in the desensitization arm was $219,914 per patient compared with $238,667 per patient treated in the dialysis arm. Thus, each patient treated with desensitization is estimated to save the U.S. healthcare system $18,753 in 2011 USD. Overall, estimated patient survival at the end of 3 years was 96.6% for patients in the desensitization arm of the model (based on Cedars-Sinai survival rate) compared with 79.0% for an age, end-stage renal disease etiology, and PRA matched group of patients remaining on dialysis during the study period.
Conclusions: We conclude that desensitization with IVIG+rituximab is clinically and cost-effective, with both financial savings and an estimated 17.6% greater probability of 3-year survival associated with desensitization versus dialysis alone. However, the benefits of desensitization and transplantation are limited by organ availability and allocation policies.
© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.