New blood test can detect rejection by antibodies after kidn
A group of European scientists led by KU Leuven has found a biomarker that can identify patients with symptoms of kidney rejection symptoms after a transplant as a result of antibodies. The identification can be done through a simple blood test and at an early stage. It is the first known biomarker for rejection by antibodies.

After a kidney transplant, patients have to take medication to suppress their immune system. However, kidney rejections occur frequently. To determine if the body is rejecting the organ, doctors usually take a biopsy: using a needle, they remove a small piece of tissue from the transplanted kidney and examine it under a microscope. This procedure is often uncomfortable. Moreover, rejection symptoms are often discovered too late, so that correct treatment is not always possible anymore.

"Rejection by HLA antibodies often has serious consequences," said professor Maarten Naesens, nephrologist at the University Hospitals Leuven and principal investigator of the study. "Traditional tests for assessing the function of transplanted kidneys can often only identify rejection when it is already chronic and irreversible. Thanks to our biomarker, we can detect rejection much earlier and with a simple blood test. Because the test is less invasive, we will be able to test more often than with the current biopsies."

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