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Title: Multicenter trial exploring calcineurin inhibitors avoidance in renal transplantation
Authors: Vincenti, F ×
Ramos, E
Brattstrom, C
Cho, S
Ekberg, H
Grinyo, J
Johnson, R
Kuypers, Dirk
Stuart, F
Khanna, A
Navarro, M
Nashan, B #
Issue Date: May-2001
Series Title: Transplantation vol:71 issue:9 pages:1282-7
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The adoption of calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) as the mainstay of immunosuppression has resuited in a significant decrease of acute rejection and improvement of short-term graft survival. However, because of the irreversible nephrotoxicity associated with the chronic use of the CNI, the magnitude of the improvement of long-term graft survival has been more modest. Therefore, an effective immunosuppression regimen that does not rely on CNI may result in improvement of long-term outcome and simplification of the management of transplant recipients. METHODS: Ninety-eight patients of primary cadaver or living donor kidneys at low immunologic risk were enrolled in a CNI avoidance study. The immunosuppression regimen consisted of daclizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to the alpha chain of the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2Ralpha), administered for a total of five doses at biweekly intervals; 3 gm/day mycophenolate mofetil for the first 6 month and 2 gm thereafter; and conventional corticosteroid therapy. Patients who underwent rejection episodes could be started on CNI. The primary efficacy end-point was biopsy-proven rejection during the first 6 months posttransplant. RESULTS: Biopsy-proven rejection was diagnosed in 48% of patients during the first 6 months after transplantation. The majority of rejection episodes were Banff grade I and IIA and were fully reversed with corticosteroid therapy. The median time to the first biopsy-proven rejection among patients who experienced this event during the first 6 months was 39 days. In 22 patients with delayed graft function, the proportion of patients with biopsy-proven rejection was 50% at 6 months. However in the first 2 weeks posttransplant, only 1 of 22 patients with delayed graft function developed biopsy-proven rejection. At 1 year, patient survival was 97% and graft survival was 96%. Only two grafts were lost secondary to rejection. At 1-year posttransplant, 62% of patients had received CNI for more than 7 days. At 1-year posttransplant, the mean serum creatinine in the nonrejectors with no CNI use was 113 micromol/L (95%, confidence interval [CI], 100.7 to 125.3 micromol/L) and in the rejectors or patients with CNI use (more than 7 days) was 154 micromol/L (95% CI, 135.0 to 173.0 micromol/L). In selected patients with rejection, analysis of circulating and intragraft lymphocytes revealed complete IL-2Ralpha saturation. CONCLUSIONS: This CNI avoidance study in immunologic low-risk patients, while only partially successful in preventing acute rejection, provided benefits to a sizable minority of patients who have not required chronic CNI therapy. However, wide acceptance of a CNI-sparing immunosuppression regimen may require a lower rate of acute rejection, possibly through the addition of a non-nephrotoxic dose of CNI. However, because complete IL-2Ralpha blockade was present during rejection, it can be assumed that alternative pathways, such as IL-15, may be responsible for the rejection; thus, the incorporation of non-nephrotoxic immunosuppressive agents, such as sirolimus, may provide a more strategic approach.
URI: 
ISSN: 0041-1337
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory of Nephrology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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