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Am J Transplant. 2005 Aug;5(8):1976-85.

Avoidance of chronic steroid therapy in african american kidney transplant recipients monitored by surveillance biopsy: 1-year results.

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Department of Surgery/Transplant, Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


African American (AA) kidney recipients receive chronic steroid therapy to improve outcomes, despite their high susceptibility to side effects, particularly diabetes and hypertension. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of avoidance of chronic steroid therapy in AA compared to non-AA kidney recipients. Two hundred and six kidney recipients were studied; 103 AA recipients versus 103 non-AA recipients. Induction was basiliximab and maintenance was a calcineurin inhibitor plus mycophenolate mofetil or sirolimus. Surveillance biopsies were preformed at 1, 6 and 12 months to assess subclinical acute rejection (SCAR) and chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN). Biopsy-proven acute rejection (AR) and SCAR were treated by methylprednisolone. The primary end point was AR. Secondary end points were graft function, 1-year patient and graft survival. AR was observed in 16% of AA and 13% of non-AA recipients. SCAR at 1 month was significantly higher in the AA group (p=0.04). One-year actual patient and graft survival in the AA group was 96% and 88% and in the non-AA group 97% and 89%, respectively. Avoidance of chronic steroid therapy directed by surveillance biopsies provides equivalent AR, CAN and 1-year patient and graft survival in AA versus non-AA recipients and a 5% incidence of new onset diabetes mellitus. All recipients remain free of chronic steroid therapy. Longer-term follow-up is ongoing.

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