US researchers have done a finding that could eventually replace the need for biopsies, they developed a potential gene test for identifying acute rejection in kidney transplant patients.
Most of the patients, in almost 15 to 20 percent cases, acute rejection after kidney transplantation occurs even when they are treated with immunosuppressive medications, says reports.
Rejection is usually heralded by an increase in the patient's serum creatinine, which leads to a kidney biopsy is then performed to confirm whether rejection is taking place.
According to researchers from the University of California San Francisco, elevated creatinine is not sufficiently sensitive to identify all early rejection or specific enough to prevent some unnecessary kidney biopsies, so a non-invasive means of identifying acute rejection is needed.
The researchers used an assay called quantitative polymerase chain reaction, for the study, to measure the expression of 43 genes whose expression levels change during acute kidney rejection in blood samples collected from patients who had had a kidney transplant.
Moreover, the researchers found that the gene set was able to predict acute rejection up to three months before detection by biopsy, independent of age, time after transplant and sample source.
The researchers said, "The kSORT assay has the potential to become a simple, robust, and clinically applicable blood test."