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Transplant Proc. 2003 Nov;35(7):2520-1.

IL-2 receptor blockers in liver transplantation: initial experience with daclizumab in Chile.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Transplant Unit, Clinica Alemana Santiago, Santiago, Chile.


Monoclonal antibodies against the interleukin 2 receptor have been developed in an effort to decrease rejection rates and spare calcineurin inhibitors when renal dysfunction occurs after transplant. While success has been reported in kidney transplantation, its effectiveness in liver transplantation is less clear.


This prospective nonrandomized study including adult patients was performed between October 2000 and April 2003. Two groups of immunosuppressive regimens were compared: group A received 2 g of methylprednisolone intraoperatively followed by a rapid reduction with intention to withdraw by month 4, continuing on Neoral monotherapy. Cellcept was also given for 2 months in the absence or for up to 4 months in the presence of rejection. Group B received the same immunosuppressive regimen but, in addition, daclizumab 1 to 1.5 mg/kg on day 1 and day 5 posttransplant. Rejection diagnosis is made on histology basis. Protocol biopsies were performed in all the patients on day 7 and if indicated by biochemistry thereafter.


Both groups were similar in terms of preoperative CHILD score, serum creatinine, incidence of status I, donor and recipient age and ischemia times. The mean follow-up time was 20 months for Group B (n = 24) and 7 months for Group A (n = 10). The 1-month and 1-year rejection rates are 29.1% and 41% in Group A versus 20% and 30% in group B. Rejection severity was similar between both groups. One-year patient and graft survival rates were 96% and 92% in group A and 100% for both in Group B.


In this series, daclizumab induction therapy seems to display a trend toward a lower rejection rate without increasing infectious complications nor affecting graft survival rates.

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