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Transplantation. 2009 Mar 27;87(6):934-41. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e31819b6d4a.

Prospective, randomized trial on late steroid withdrawal in pediatric renal transplant recipients under cyclosporine microemulsion and mycophenolate mofetil.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics I, University Children's Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



: Many transplant centers practice late steroid withdrawal after pediatric renal transplantation, but evidence-based data on the overall risk-to-benefit ratio in this patient population are lacking.


: We therefore conducted the first prospective, randomized, open-label multicenter study to validate this strategy: 42 low-immunologic risk pediatric kidney allograft recipients, aged 10.3+/-4.3 years, on cyclosporine microemulsion, mycophenolate mofetil, and corticosteroids were randomly assigned, more than or equal to 1-year posttransplant, to continue steroids or to withdraw over 3 months. This report contains the 1-year results.


: In response to steroid withdrawal, patients experienced a significant catch-up growth with a mean standardized height gain of 0.3+/-0.1 standard deviation score (SDS) per year (P<0.05 vs. control), whereas mean height SDS in the control group did not change (0.0+/-0.1 SDS). Standardized body mass index declined significantly by 0.68+/-0.23 SDS after steroid withdrawal, but rose significantly by 0.26+/-0.34 SDS in the control group. Patients off steroids had less frequent arterial hypertension (50% vs. 87.5% (P<0.05) and significantly lower serum cholesterol (by 21%) and triglyceride values (by 36%) than control patients. Patient and graft survival were 100%. The incidence of acute rejection episodes in the steroid-withdrawal group was 1 of 23 (4%) compared with 1 of 19 (5%) in controls. Transplant function remained stable in both groups.


: Late steroid withdrawal in low-immunologic risk European pediatric kidney transplant recipients on cyclosporine microemulsion and mycophenolate mofetil is not associated with an increased rate of acute rejection episodes, enables catch-up growth and ameliorates cardiovascular risk factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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