(F)Utility of the physical crossmatch for living donor evaluations in the age of the virtual crossmatch

Harold C. Sullivan, Christina L. Dean, Robert S. Liwski, Shilpee Biswas, Abigail L. Goodman, Scott Krummey, Howard M. Gebel, Robert A. Bray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Flow cytometric crossmatches (FCXM) are routinely performed to support living-donor renal transplantation. While long a laboratory mainstay, a physical crossmatch is costly, time consuming, and frequently poses interpretative conundrums with both false-positive and false- negative results. Given the increased utilization of the virtual crossmatch (vXM) in the deceased donor setting, our aim was to assess its utility in living donor evaluations. We reviewed 100 living donor FCXMs and retrospectively performed a vXM for each pair. Seventy-five (75) cases were concordant, (i.e., FCXM−/vXM− or FCXM+/vXM+) while 25 cases were discordant; Five were vXM+/FCXM− and 20 were FCXM+/vXM−. Since donor-specific antibodies (DSA) were not detected in the 20 FCXM+/vXM− cases, these were interpreted as false-positive, i.e., due to non-HLA antibodies. Importantly, none of these patients, when transplanted across a positive FCXM, experienced early antibody mediated rejection or subsequently developed HLA DSA. These data reveal that, for the vast majority of living donor evaluations, a vXM is an acceptable vetting procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-715
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Crossmatch
  • FCXM
  • HLA
  • SAB
  • Virtual crossmatch
  • vXM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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