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Transplantation. 2002 Oct 27;74(8):1070-6.

Kidney transplantation without calcineurin inhibitor drugs: a prospective, randomized trial of sirolimus versus cyclosporine.

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1
Urological Institute and Transplant Center A110, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. flechns@ccf.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Progressive nephrotoxicity caused by calcineurin inhibitor drugs contributes to the long-term decline in renal function in kidney transplant patients.

METHODS:

We conducted a randomized, prospective trial of calcineurin inhibitor drug avoidance in 61 adult primary kidney transplant recipients. Each patient received induction therapy with 20 mg basiliximab on days 0 and 4, and maintenance therapy with mycophenolate mofetil 1 g two times per day and steroids. Thirty-one patients received sirolimus, 5 mg daily after a 15-mg loading dose. Doses were then concentration-controlled to keep 24-hr trough levels at 10 to 12 ng/mL for 6 months and 5 to 10 ng/mL thereafter. Thirty patients began cyclosporine therapy at 6 to 8 mg/kg per day in divided doses and were then concentration-controlled to keep 12-hr troughs of 200 to 250 ng/mL.

RESULTS:

Mean follow-up is 18.1 months (range, 12-26 months). The percentages of 1-year patient survival, graft survival, and biopsy-confirmed acute rejection rates were not significantly different between the sirolimus-treated patients (96.7%, 96.7%, and 6.4%, respectively) and the cyclosporine-treated patients (100%, 95.4%, and 16.6%, respectively). At 6 and 12 months, respectively, the sirolimus-treated patients enjoyed significantly better (P=0.008 and P=0.004) mean serum creatinine levels (1.29 and 1.32 mg/dL) and calculated creatinine clearances (77.8 and 81.1 mL/min) than cyclosporine-treated patients (1.74 and 1.78 mg/dL, and 64.1 and 61.1 mL/min, respectively). Sirolimus-treated recipients have significantly (P=0.001) higher 1-year trough levels of mycophenolic acid (4.16 ng/mL) than cyclosporine-treated patients (1.93 ng/mL). Sirolimus also delays the repopulation of basiliximab-depleted CD25 T cells compared with cyclosporine.

CONCLUSIONS:

Calcineurin inhibitor drug avoidance with basiliximab induction and sirolimus provides comparable 1-year transplant outcomes, with significantly better renal function in primary renal allograft recipients.

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