Tocilizumab for the treatment of chronic antibody mediated rejection in kidney transplant recipients

Pascale Khairallah, Shelief Robbins-Juarez, Shefali Patel, Vaqar Shah, Katherine Toma, Hilda Fernandez, Geoffrey K. Dube, Kristen King, Sumit Mohan, Syed Ali Husain, Heather Morris, Russell John Crew

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic active antibody-mediated rejection (CAAMR) constitutes a dominant form of late allograft failure. Several treatment strategies directed at CAAMR have been attempted but proven ineffective at delaying kidney function decline or reducing donor-specific antibodies (DSA). We describe our single-center experience using tocilizumab in patients with CAAMR. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis using electronic medical records. 38 kidney transplant recipients at Columbia University Irving Medical Center who had been prescribed tocilizumab and followed for at least 3 months between August 2013 through December 2019 were included. Results: Tocilizumab use was associated with a decrease in the rate of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline in the 6 months following treatment initiation as compared to the 3 months before tocilizumab was initiated (difference between slopes before and after initiation of treatment = 2.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 (SE =.8, p =.002) per month for up to 6 months following Tocilizumab initiation). Allograft biopsies showed significant improvement in interstitial inflammation scores (score 1(0,1) to 0 (0,1), p =.03) while other histologic scores remained stable. There was no significant change in proteinuria or DSA titers post-treatment with tocilizumab. Conclusions: Treatment of CAAMR with tocilizumab was associated with a decrease in the rate of eGFR decline and a reduction in interstitial inflammation scores in patients with CAAMR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14853
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transplantation

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