A test for diagnosing and predicting acute rejection in kidney transplant has been developed by researchers at UC San Francisco. If validated, this test can actually replace the need for biopsies in kidney transplant recipients, besides leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment of rejection.
The researchers aimed to created a "kidney solid organ response test" (kSORT) that would be able to detect patients at risk for acute rejection by using a simple blood gene expression assay. Accordingly, the researchers analyzed gene expression data in 558 blood samples. These samples were obtained from 436 adult and pediatric renal transplant patients.
The samples were obtained through the multicenter AART (Assessment of Acute Rejection in Renal Transplantation) Study from UCSF as well as seven other transplant centers in the United States, Mexico and Spain. Following the analysis, the researchers developed an algorithm to detected rejection. They report that the kSORT predicted rejection up to three months earlier than detection by biopsy.
"We have found a set of genes in blood that pick up inflammation and acute rejection in different solid organ transplants and thus can replace the need for an invasive biopsy in the future," said senior author Minnie Sarwal, MD, PhD, professor of transplant surgery at UCSF. "This assay also predicts the onset of histological rejection by three to four months, meaning graft inflammation can be treated early and proactively, even reversed."
The study details appear in the Nov. 11 issue of PLOS Medicine.