Out previous studies have shown that the in vitro assay of donor antigen-specific hyporeactivity is a useful marker for identifying solid organ transplant recipients (kidney, lung and heart) at low risk for immunologic complications (i.e., late acute rejection episodes and chronic rejection). Donor antigen-specific hyporeactivity is defined as a significantly decreased post- vs. pretransplant proliferative response to donor antigens while response to third-party controls remains unchanged. We analyzed whether exposure to the same HLA-DR antigen pretransplant via random blood transfusion and posttransplant via the transplanted organ influenced the development of hyporeactivity. Thirty previously nontransfused recipients, each receiving two 150 ml pretransplant random blood transfusions, were assessed for hyporeactivity at 1 year posttransplant. Of the 12 recipients with pretransplant exposure to kidney HLA-DR via transfusions, 6 (50%) developed hyporesponsiveness; in contrast, of the 18 recipients who were not preexposed, only 3 (15%) exhibited this form of immunomodulation. Of interest, 2 of the 3 hyporesponsive recipients who were not preexposed, received units containing HLA-DR antigens previously shown to share crossreactive epitopes with the kidney HLA-DR. In conclusion, these results suggest a increased incidence in the development of hyporeactivity in patients receiving pretransplant transfusions which share an HLA-DR antigen with the transplanted kidney.