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ASN leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients.

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Kidney Week

Educational Symposium

Diagnostic Controversies in Transplantation: Of Biomarkers and Biopsies

October 25, 2020 | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Location: Simulive

Session Description

Despite advances in immunosuppression therapy, acute rejection remains a threat to long-term survival after kidney transplantation. Kidney transplant biopsy has long been the diagnostic standard, but this invasive procedure is not without risks. In addition, most biopsies performed are "for cause," done in response to an increase in serum creatinine, which is an imperfect reflection of kidney function.

Cell-free DNA is continuously released into circulation; the detectable amount in blood increases in response to allograft injury or inflammation states, such as ischemia reperfusion injury, rejection, and infection. Prospective clinical trials have demonstrated that cell-free DNA can help in the diagnosis of acute rejection as well as other inflammatory states that threaten the allograft, such as BK nephropathy. Cell-free DNA technology has the potential to supplant kidney biopsy as the preferred diagnostic modality for identifying rejection.

This symposium discusses current understanding of the science and clinical application of cell-free DNA technology, providing an important update for general nephrologists and transplant professionals alike.

Support is provided by an educational grant from CareDx.

Learning Objective(s)

  • Describe the use of cell-free DNA technology to diagnose acute rejection in the transplant setting
  • Describe the use of cell-free DNA technology to diagnose opportunistic infections, such as BK nephropathy

Learning Pathway(s)

  • Transplantation/Immunology


  • Milagros D. Samaniego-Picota, MD, FASN


  • Introduction
    01:00 PM - 01:10 PM
    Milagros D. Samaniego-Picota, MD, FASN
  • Getting to Goal: The Current Use of Cell-Free DNA to Diagnose Rejection
    01:10 PM - 01:35 PM
    Alexander C. Wiseman, MD 
  • More Than Rejection: Use of Cell-Free DNA to Diagnose Other Immunologic Threats
    01:35 PM - 02:00 PM
    Darshana M. Dadhania, MD, MS