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Transplantation. 2008 Oct 15;86(7):925-31. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318186b8a3.

Basiliximab versus steroids in double therapy immunosuppression in liver transplantation: a prospective randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Institute of General Surgery and Liver Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.



: Basiliximab (B), an anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody, may represent an alternative to steroids (S) in immunosuppression after liver transplantation (LTx). The aim of this prospective randomized clinical trial was to compare B with S in a cyclosporin A (CsA)-based immunosuppression regimen in primary LTx.


: Forty-seven adult recipients of LTx were randomly assigned to receive B or S. CsA was administered at the initial dose of 10 mg/kg/day and adjusted to the target C2 level of 800 to 1000 ng/mL by day 7. Clinically suspected acute cellular rejection (ACR) was histologically confirmed. Endpoints include ACR, survival, and disease-free survival.


: In group B (26 patients), there were seven biopsy-confirmed ACR with an ACR rate of 15.4%; in group S (21 patients), 8 ACR with an ACR rate of 28.6% (P=n.s.). Cumulative survival at 36 months after transplantation was 84.3% for group B and 61.0% for group S. In hepatitis C virus patients (n=20: 12 in group B, 8 in group S), the ACR rate was 25% in group B and 50% in group S. The incidence of infection and other adverse events was similar in the two treatment groups.


: B may represent a valid alternative to S in the induction of immunosuppression in LTx. Further studies of basiliximab in a large cohort are needed.

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