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Transplant Proc. 2004 Nov;36(9):2699-702.

Effects of azithromycin on cyclosporine-induced gingival hyperplasia in renal transplant patients.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey. tokgozb@erciyes.edu.tr.



Gingival hyperplasia is a well-known complication of cyclosporine therapy, affecting 21% to 35% of renal transplant patients. Metronidazole, clarithromycin, and azithromycin, all azalid antimicrobial agents derived from the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin, have been used for treatment. Marked improvements in gingival hyperplasia have been recorded in particular with azithromycin. The aim of the present study was to investigate histopathological features of cyclosporine-induced gingival hyperplasia and to evaluate the quantitative efficacy of short-term azithromycin therapy.


Eighteen renal transplant patients with cyclosporine-induced gingival hyperplasia were included in the study. All patients received azithromycin with a dose of 500 mg/d for 3 consecutive days. Changes in gingival hyperplasia were evaluated by measuring the gingival sulcus depth to the cementum-enamel junction of every tooth in each of the four quadrants on days 0, 7, 30, 90, 180. Gum biopsies were obtained on days 0 and 30; the degree of inflammation was classified as "mild," "intermediate," and "severe".


Gingival hyperplasia was reduced in all treated patients throughout the study. The degree of improvement was more significant between 0 to 7 and 7 to 30 days than at other times (respectively, P < .0001 and P < .002). Histopathologically, eight patients had severe and one patient moderate chronic inflammation at the beginning of therapy. Three other biopsies were reported as papilloma, mucosal hyperplasia, and normal gingival tissue biopsy.


Azithromycin appears to be useful to treat cyclosporine-induced gingival hyperplasia in renal transplant patients. Treatment is inexpensive and free from known adverse effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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