Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) continues to present a challenge for the survival of the cardiac allograft. AMR appears to be on the rise, likely secondary to changing trends in clinical practice, including selection of patients for transplantation on mechanical circulatory support and development of more effective combinations of immunosuppressive drugs against acute cellular rejection. Most current strategies are aimed at treating acute AMR, but the treatment of chronic AMR is still not well defined. Clinically, AMR can often be more severe than cellular rejection and more difficult to treat, often not responding to typical protocols of increased immunosuppression. Complex steps involved in the antibody response allows for several potential targets for therapeutic intervention, including suppression of T and B cells, elimination of circulating antibodies, and inhibition of residual antibodies. Existing evidence suggests a multiregimen approach is the best option. Sustenance of accommodation and induction of tolerance could be viewed as viable options if adequate immune surveillance can be achieved in this setting. This review discusses the challenges in treating AMR and provides a critical analysis of current and possible future therapies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine