Antiphospholipid antibodies and renal transplant: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Paul RJ Ames, Mira Merashli, Tommaso Bucci, Fabrizio Gentile, Jose Delgado-Alves

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the effect of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) on renal allograft outcome after kidney transplantation. Methods: A systematic search of EMBASE and PubMed databases from inception to July 2018 was run according to PRISMA guidelines; Peto's odds ratio (OR) for rare events was used for the meta-analysis. Results: Our inclusion/exclusion criteria were met by 22 cohort studies having different outcomes: allograft thrombosis (n = 9) and thromboprophylaxis (n = 3), allograft loss from any cause (n = 9), allograft malfunction (n = 3), duration (n = 2), glomerular filtration rate at 1 year (n = 3) and allograft rejection (n = 5). The pooled prevalence of allograft thrombosis and of thrombotic microangiopathy was greater in aPL+ve than negative recipients (10.4% vs 1.7%, p < 0.0001 and 10.2% vs 0%, p = 0.005, respectively). The pooled prevalence of allograft thrombosis was 75% in patients not taking anticoagulation whereas none of the anticoagulated recipients developed thrombosis (p < 0.0001). The pooled prevalence of allograft loss was greater in aPL+ve recipients (28% vs 18% respectively, p < 0.0001); the pooled prevalence of aPL was greater in allograft loss recipients compared to those who did not lose it (51% vs 33%, p < 0.0001). The pooled prevalence of allograft malfunction and rejection was similar in aPL−ve and aPL+ve recipients (32.2% vs 40.3% and 14.9% vs 14.4%, respectively) but graft duration was shorter in aPL+ve than aPL−ve recipients (p = 0.001) and glomerular filtration rate at 1 year was lower in aPL + ve than aPL−ve recipients (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: APL relate strongly to allograft thrombosis, loss and duration but not to allograft malfunction and rejection. Oral antivitamin K anticoagulants effectively prevent allograft thrombosis in aPL recipients. The debate on the role of aPL in renal transplant is limited by the expression of data as percentage of recipients positive for aPL rather than aPL titres in many studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1052
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number6
Early online date19 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019



  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Renal transplantation

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