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The efficacy and safety of belatacept when converted from calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) in HLA-sensitized (HS) kidney transplant recipients has not been established. The study included 108 kidney transplant recipients converted from CNI to belatacept between July 1, 2012, and September 30, 2017. Rejection-free, patient, and graft survival over 5 years follow-up were compared between HS and non-HLA-sensitized (non-HS) recipients using the Kaplan-Meier product-limit method. The estimated glomerular filtration rate slope postconversion was compared using linear mixed effects models. There were 29 HS and 79 non-HS recipients included. Rejections after conversion were mostly cell-mediated. There was no difference in rejection-free survival (log-rank P = 0.30; at 5 y, HS: 82%; non-HS: 84.6%); however, rejection-free survival was lower among HS recipients converted within the first-year posttransplant compared to non-HS recipients (log-rank P = 0.03; at 5 y, HS: 55.6%; non-HS: 75.0%). There was no difference in patient survival (log-rank P = 0.75; at 5 y, HS: 85.7%, non-HS: 83.7%) or graft survival (log-rank P = 0.17; at 5 y, HS: 78.5%, non-HS: 89.8%) in the 2 groups. On average, estimated glomerular filtration rate slope improved postconversion in non-HS (0.28 mL/min/1.73 m/y [0.03 to 0.53]) but declined in HS recipients (-0.44 mL/min/1.73 m/y [-0.85 to -0.03]). There was no difference in rejection-free, patient, or graft survival after conversion to belatacept over 5 years among HS and non-HS recipients. However, rejection-free survival was lower in HS recipients converted to belatacept within the first-year posttransplant. Conversion from CNI to belatacept should be done cautiously in high immunologic risk patients.


Supreet Sethi, Reiad Najjar, Alice Peng, Jua Choi, Kathlyn Lim, Ashley Vo, Stanley C Jordan, Edmund Huang. Outcomes of Conversion From Calcineurin Inhibitor to Belatacept-based Immunosuppression in HLA-sensitized Kidney Transplant Recipients. Transplantation. 2020 Jul;104(7):1500-1507

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PMID: 31568398

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