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Transplantation. 2003 Jul 15;76(1):130-6.

Mycophenolatemofetil for immunosuppression after liver transplantation: a follow-up study of 191 patients.

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1
Department of Surgery, Charité, Campus Virvhow-Klinikum, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany. pfitzmann@charite.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mycophenolatemofetil (MMF) combined with calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) as immunosuppression after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is still under discussion. We retrospectively investigated the immunosuppressive potency of MMF for treatment of steroid-resistant acute rejection (AR) or chronic rejection (CR), chronic graft dysfunction, and CNI-induced toxicity in patients after OLT.

METHODS:

Between 1988 and 2001 we performed 1386 OLTs in 1258 patients. Since 1995, 191 patients have received MMF after OLT for steroid-resistant AR or CR, chronic graft dysfunction (115 patients), and CNI-induced toxicity (76 patients). The mean follow-up time was 56 months.

RESULTS:

Of 47 patients with steroid-resistant AR, 12 had been treated with OKT3, without resolving the rejection. Overall, bilirubin and transaminases decreased significantly within 2 weeks after the addition of MMF, and liver function normalized in 38 patients. Five of eight patients with CR demonstrated stable liver function after a follow-up of 55+/-8 months; 52 of 60 patients with chronic graft dysfunction improved within 3 months; and 46 of 59 patients with CNI-induced nephrotoxicity improved after MMF treatment and a reduction of CNIs (with a significant decrease in serum creatinine within 2 weeks and an increase of creatinine clearance within 3 months). Clinical symptoms improved in 10 of 12 patients with neurotoxicity and four of five patients with hepatotoxicity. Side effects of MMF, such as gastrointestinal disorders or bone marrow toxicity, occurred in 60 patients (31.4%). The incidence of infections did not increase. Patient survival was 93%, and graft survival was 88.2%.

CONCLUSIONS:

MMF is a potent and safe immunosuppressive agent in OLT recipients for rescue therapy in AR, CR, or chronic graft dysfunction and helps to reduce the serious toxic side effects of CNIs.

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