Diagnoses & Conditions

Desensitization (Solid Organ Transplant)

Understanding Desensitization (Solid Organ Transplant)

Desensitization is the process of decreasing antibodies you have that may increase the risk of rejection after a kidney transplant.

Symptoms of Desensitization (Solid Organ Transplant)

When someone becomes a candidate for a kidney transplant, part of the workup includes a blood test called a PRA, which stands for Panel Reactive Antibody. This test measures the amount of alloantibodies in your system. Alloantibodies are antibodies that are produced when you are exposed to the tissue of another person. This may occur from being pregnant, receiving a blood transfusion or from a previous transplant.

Diagnosis of Desensitization (Solid Organ Transplant)

A PRA result may range from zero to 100% and tests your cell against various samples of other people. Zero means you have no alloantibodies, and the risk of rejection goes down; 100% means you would react with 100% of any potential donors and, therefore, significantly decreases the chance of a successful transplant. Anyone with a PRA of 20% is considered highly sensitized and is a candidate for desensitization therapy. Having a PRA greater than 20% can have a significant impact on wait times for a compatible donor.

Treatment of Desensitization (Solid Organ Transplant)

Desensitization therapy may vary depending on the transplant center, and may involve steroids, plasma exchange or pheresis, immune globulin therapy and/or other drugs. Immune globulin therapy is administered into the blood stream intravenously (IVIG). IVIG is used to suppress the immune response. This is known as immunomodulation. The mechanism of action of IVIG in this manner is not clearly understood. IVIG is essentially antibodies from a variety of human donors. This large variety of antibodies is thought to suppress the immune response, thereby decreasing alloantibody production and ultimately lowering PRA levels.


Resources for people undergoing a kidney transplant:

This content is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Contact Nufactor

At Nufactor, we are committed to providing our patients the education, support and resources necessary to complete your IVIG treatment successfully and with the desired outcomes. Please contact us with any further questions.