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17 February 2014 : Original article  

Early corticosteroid withdrawal in the real world: A long-term analysis of kidney transplant recipients from the Mycophenolic Acid Observational Renal Transplant Registry

Kimi UedaBC, Kevin M. McCagueC, Anne WilandC, V. Ram PeddiBC

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.889706

Ann Transplant 2014; 19:84-92


BACKGROUND: Prospective, long-term data on corticosteroid withdrawal (CSW) versus corticosteroid continuation (CSC) following kidney transplantation are scarce.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The Mycophenolic Renal Transplant (MORE) Registry was a prospective, observational study of de novo kidney transplant patients receiving mycophenolic acid (MPA) and standard of care. Adult patients receiving tacrolimus and enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium (EC-MPS) or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) at time of transplant were analyzed to 4 years according to CSW by month 3 (n=363) or CSC (n=509).

RESULTS: In the CSW and CSC groups, 3.3% and 13.0% had undergone retransplantation (p<0.001), 89.9% and 77.0% had panel reactive antibodies <30% (p<0.001), and 72.5% and 87.2% received pretransplant dialysis (p<0.001), respectively. Rabbit antithymocyte induction was used in 62.3% of CSW patients and 58.6% of CSC patients (p=0.015), and alemtuzumab in 23.7% and 4.7%, respectively (p=0.002). At all time points to 3 years post-transplant, significantly fewer CSW patients were maintained on the full recommended dose of MPA versus CSC patients. Biopsy-proven acute rejection occurred in 10.1% and 14.3% of CSW and CSC patients (p=0.12), graft survival was 96.9% versus 93.7% (p=0.030), and patient survival was 95.6% versus 95.0% (p=0.65), respectively. Adverse events were similar except for leukopenia (CSW 60.6%, CSC 29.9%; p<0.001) and neutropenia (CSW 17.4%, CSC 11.4%; p=0.013), with infections in 24.8% and 30.8% of CSW and CSC patients, respectively (p=0.057).

CONCLUSIONS: CSW patients were less likely to receive the full dose of MPA than CSC patients, possibly due to induction-related hematological toxicity. Graft survival to 4 years post-transplant was superior in CSW patients.

Keywords: Steroids, elimination, withdrawal, MORE, EC-MPS, MMF

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358