What is a sensitized potential recipient?
A “sensitized” potential recipient is an individual who has detectable preformed HLA antibodies that pose considerable future risk to the allograft survival. Patient sensitization is classically reported as the percent panel reactivity antibody (PRA). PRA is defined as the percentage of donors expected to react with a patient’s serum based on known antibody. Highly “sensitized” patients often cross-match positive to multiple potential donors and require a zero antigen mismatch allograft to increase success. Consequently, these “sensitized” patients are less likely to be transplanted or will spend an extended time on the waitlist pending the availability of a suitable donor. The new allocation system, however, does give “points” for these individuals to increase their transplant rate.