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Transplantation. 2004 Apr 27;77(8):1228-35.

Comparison of sirolimus-based calcineurin inhibitor-sparing and calcineurin inhibitor-free regimens in cadaveric renal transplantation.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.



This study examines the efficacy and toxicity of sirolimus used as primary immunosuppression in combination with reduced dose tacrolimus (calcineurin inhibitor [CI]-sparing regimen) or mycophenolate mofetil (CI-free regimen) in high-risk cadaveric renal transplantation.


Seventy subjects were treated in a quadruple sequential protocol in which 41 were treated with a CI-sparing regimen and 29 were treated with a CI-free regimen. The efficacy and toxicity profiles of these regimens were prospectively monitored and compared.


The study consisted of African Americans (71%), cadaveric donors (100%), donors aged more than 50 years (30%), and patients with delayed graft function (47%). At 1 year, patient survival, graft survival, and incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection were 98%, 80%, and 10%, respectively, in the CI-sparing group and 100%, 89%, and 7%, respectively, in the CI-free group. Three-month protocol biopsies were performed in 41% (17/41) and 67% (20/29) of the subjects in the CI-sparing and CI-free groups, respectively. Subclinical rejection was detected in 6% (1/17) and 15% (3/20) of the subjects in the CI-sparing and CI-free groups, respectively. Histologic evidence of chronic allograft nephropathy was more prevalent in the CI-sparing group. At 1 year, the mean estimated creatinine clearance was higher in the CI-free group than in the CI-sparing group (72.4 +/-20.0 mL/min vs. 50.5 +/-20.8 mL/min, P <0.01). The two regimens had similar toxicity profiles (hospital readmission, infection, wound complications, and metabolic complications).


Both sirolimus-based CI-sparing and CI-free regimens are safe and effective in a population with high immunologic risk. The CI-free regimen is associated with better renal function at 1 year post-transplant. Long-term follow-up will aid in determining the risk and benefit ratio of these regimens.

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