Our Matching Technology
The Kidney for Life initiative uses advanced matching technology that incorporates state-of-the-art eplet mismatch analysis.
What is Eplet Matching?
Historically, matches were based on HLA antigen comparisons. A zero out of six antigen match was the least desirable, while a six out of six was considered the most desirable.
Similar to how atoms are made of many smaller components, we now know that antigens are made of many smaller components. These smaller components are called eplets. The best genetic match between a kidney donor and a transplant recipient is a low eplet mismatch.
Benefits of a low eplet mismatch:
Reduces the probability of rejection: 63% of graft failure, after the first year post-transplant, is caused by chronic rejection. This is due to the patient’s immune system attacking what it sees as a foreign body—the transplanted kidney. It does this by forming de novo DSA (new antibodies), which attack the transplanted kidney and can cause the transplant to fail. The lower the eplet mismatches between the donor and the recipient, the lower the chance that de novo DSA will form, and the more likely the transplant will last a lifetime.
Lower immunosuppression medication: With a low eplet mismatch, there is an opportunity to safely reduce immunosuppressive medications taken after the transplant. Reducing these medications will help mitigate their side effects, which can include risk of infection, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, increased hair growth and hand trembling. Consult your nephrologist about your immunosuppression dosage.
Is a Low Eplet Mismatch Worth the Wait?
If you already have a donor, should you try to find a better match through the Kidney for Life program?
To better answer this question, watch the video below: