Decellularized cadaver vein allografts used for hemodialysis access do not cause allosensitization or preclude kidney transplantation.

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BACKGROUND: Dimethyl sulfoxide-cryopreserved (CRY) cadaver vein allografts used for hemodialysis access in patients with renal failure recently have been shown to cause broad recipient allosensitization, measured by panel reactive antibody (PRA) assay. Synergraft (SYN) processing is a novel method of treating tissue that decellularizes the graft (including mismatched major histocompatibility antigens) and potentially should prevent allosensitization. METHODS: Twenty hemodialysis patients underwent placement of an SYN-processed cadaver vein allograft. PRA assay was used prospectively to assess allosensitization in these patients at baseline and 1-month intervals after engraftment. These results were compared with our historic series of CRY allograft recipients. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in baseline PRA values for SYN and CRY patients (2.8% versus 2.6%, respectively). None of the SYN patients became allosensitized at 3 months postengraftment (mean PRA, 3.2%), whereas all CRY recipients became highly sensitized at a mean of 3.1 months (mean PRA, 84.1%). This result was highly significant (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: SYN processing of cadaver vein allografts successfully removes antigenic material. The use of SYN allografts in patients with renal failure for hemodialysis access does not cause allosensitization and therefore should not preclude kidney transplantation. Copyright 2002 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.