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Transplantation. 1999 Nov 15;68(9):1298-304.

Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial of efficacy and safety of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in liver transplant recipients.

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1
Department of Medicine, the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Infection and rejection are two common complications after liver transplants. In a preliminary study, administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to liver transplant recipients was associated with a decrease in sepsis episodes, sepsis-related deaths, and rejection compared with a historical control group of patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate further the efficacy of G-CSF in liver transplant patients in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial.

METHODS:

Adult patients with a United Network Organ Sharing classification of 1 or 2 were randomized to receive a placebo, 100 microg/day of G-CSF or 300 microg/day of G-CSF. The study drug was started preoperatively and then continued after the transplant for a maximum of 21 days. Patients were evaluated for microbiologically-documented infection, biopsy-proven rejection, number of treatments for rejection, length of stay in the intensive care unit and hospital, graft survival, death, and adverse events.

RESULTS:

During the first 30 days after the transplant, the median peak white blood cell count was 16.5x10(9)/L, 34.6x10(9)L, and 54.8x10(9)/L for the placebo, low-dose G-CSF, and high-dose G-CSF patients, respectively. The incidence of infection was 30% in G-CSF patients (34 of 114 patients) and 34% in placebo patients (20 of 58 patients). Except for more nosocomial pneumonias in the G-CSF patients (7 in 114 patients vs. 0 in 58 patients, P=0.056), the types of infections and causative organisms were also similar in both treatment groups. Although the number of treatments for clinically suspected or proven rejection was similar in the G-CSF and placebo patients, biopsy-proven rejection occurred more often in G-CSF patients (34 of 114 patients or 30%) than placebo patients (11 of 58 patients or 19%) (P=0.093). There were no cases of graft loss caused by rejection. G-CSF had no effect on length of stay in the intensive-care unit or hospital. There were 22 G-CSF patients (18%) and 10 placebo patients (15%) who died within 120 days after the transplant. No serious adverse events were attributed to G-CSF.

CONCLUSION:

Despite producing substantial increases in the white blood cell count after the transplant, G-CSF had no beneficial effects on infection, rejection, or survival in this study. Biopsy-proven rejection and nosocomial pneumonias were more common in patients treated with G-CSF compared with those taking the placebo. No serious adverse events were attributed to G-CSF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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