Journal Article

High prevalence and usual persistence of serum monoclonal immunoglobulins evidenced by sensitive methods in renal transplant recipients.

G Touchard, T Pasdeloup, J Parpeix, T Hauet, M Bauwens, G Dumont, P Aucouturier and J L Preud'homme

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 12, issue 6, pages 1199-1203
Published in print June 1997 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online June 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/12.6.1199
High prevalence and usual persistence of serum monoclonal immunoglobulins evidenced by sensitive methods in renal transplant recipients.

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BACKGROUND: The occurrence of serum monoclonal immunoglobulins in kidney transplant recipients is well known but their significance and predictive value for the occurrence of lymphoma are a matter of debate. We therefore conducted a study of monoclonal immunoglobulins by a sensitive method during the long-term follow up of grafted patients. METHODS: Monoclonal immunoglobulins were characterized by high-resolution electrophoresis, conventional immunoelectrophoretic analysis, and a sensitive Western blotting procedure in the serum from 84 renal transplant recipients prior to grafting and subsequently, with a 1-8-year follow-up and excluding the patients who developed posttransplant lymphoma. RESULTS: Low abundance monoclonal immunoglobulins were detectable prior to transplantation in 56 cases (66.6%) and after graft in 72 cases (85.5%) (and in 1 case (1.2%) and 18 cases (21.4%) of cases respectively, by immunoelectrophoresis). These abnormalities were often multiple in individual sera. Monoclonal components detected by immunoblotting were transient in 23.8% of patients only (whereas those evidenced by immunoelectrophoresis usually became undetectable by this method) and their pattern was remarkably stable in the majority of cases. The frequency of post-transplant monoclonal immunoglobulins was higher in patients of more than 50 years of age than in younger patients. The appearance of monoclonal components after grafting and their transient character correlated with CMV infections. No correlation was found with various other parameters. The isotypic distribution of monoclonal immunoglobulins with an IgM, IgG3, and IgG1 predominance and an abnormally low kappa/lambda ratio was the same as that observed in various immunodeficiency states. The monoclonal immunoglobulin pattern in three further patients who developed post-transplant lymphoma was unremarkable. CONCLUSION: Monoclonal immunoglobulins hence are not discriminant for lymphoma and their characterization does not appear to be necessary in the evaluation of followed up grafted patients, at least for a prediction of post-transplant lymphoma.

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Subjects: Nephrology

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