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J Hepatol. 2006 Apr;44(4):710-6. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Immunosuppression without steroids in liver transplantation is safe and reduces infection and metabolic complications: results from a prospective multicenter randomized study.

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Department of Surgery, Liver Transplant Unit, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, IDIBELL, 08907 Barcelona, Spain.

Erratum in

  • J Hepatol. 2006 Jul;45(1):166.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a steroid-free immunosuppression protocol.


From 2001 to 2004, 198 liver-transplant patients were randomized to receive immunosuppression with Basiliximab and cyclosporine, with (St Group) or without (NoSt Group) prednisone. The primary end points were acute rejection, and patient and graft survival. The secondary end points were infection, metabolic complications, and hepatitis C-virus recurrence.


Overall rejection rate was 15%, with no differences (St: 13% vs NoSt: 18%; P=0.33). Infection rate was similar in both groups (St: 51% vs NoSt: 47%; P=0.56), but diabetic patients in the St Group had a significantly higher rate of bacterial infections (St: 54% vs NoSt: 14%; P=0.005). The six-month protocol biopsies showed hepatitis C recurrence in 90% of patients, without differences between groups. Hypertension was more frequent in the St Group (St: 44% vs NoSt: 25%; P=0.006). De novo diabetes rate was higher in the St Group (month 1: St: 29% vs NoSt: 18%; P=0.06), with higher glycatedHb (5.1+/-1.1 vs 4.4+/-0.8; P=0.002). Six-month survival rates were similar (St: 89% vs NoSt: 94%, P=0.62).


Immunosuppression without steroids is safe and reduces infection and metabolic complications.

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