Successful use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab) for ABO-incompatible living-related liver transplantation

Masahiro Usuda, Keisei Fujimori, Nozomi Koyamada, Tatsuya Fukumori, Satoshi Sekiguchi, Naoki Kawagishi, Yorihiro Akamatsu, Yoshitaka Enomoto, Kazushige Satoh, Akira Satoh, Kazuyuki Ishida, Takuya Moriya, Susumu Satomi

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Humoral rejection after ABO-incompatible liver transplantation often causes graft loss and a life-threatening situation. We used rituximab, which can eliminate B cells highly selectively, as an additional therapy for ABO-incompatible living-related liver transplantation. Cases. Patient 1 was a 1-year-old girl with biliary atresia. Her blood type was O, and the donor's was A. She underwent two plasma exchanges before liver transplantation and had triple immunosuppressants (mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and methylprednisolone). She was diagnosed with humoral rejection by needle biopsy on postoperative day 6. Rituximab was used for 3 days at 375,187, and 187 mg/m2 and successfully reduced the antibody titer, transaminase, and CD19+ cells count in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The patient has not had any severe rejection, infection, or serious complications 2 years posttransplantation. Patient 2 was a 42-year-old woman with primary biliary cirrhosis. The blood type was O, and the donor's was B. She received three plasma exchanges, triple immunosuppressants, splenectomy, intraarterial anticoagulant therapy, and rituximab (375 mg/m2 immediately after transplantation). The titer and CD19+ cells count remained persistently low throughout the recovery course. She did not develop humoral rejection 1 year after transplantation. Conclusions. Rituximab efficiently reduces anti-ABO antibody titer by selectively eliminating B cells and is safe and effective against humoral rejection after ABO-incompatible liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 15


  • ABO incompatible
  • Humoral rejection
  • Living-related liver transplantation
  • Rituximab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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