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Transplantation. 2013 Feb 15;95(3):495-500. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318277230e.

Anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody replacement therapy for chronic kidney disease in liver transplant recipients.

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Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a frequent complication after liver transplantation (LT) and is associated with increased mortality. Strategies to reduce calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) dose or conversion to either mycophenolate mofetil and/or rapamycin resulted in variable results and side-effect profiles.


We evaluated the effectiveness of CNI conversion to long-term anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based immunosuppression in 15 adult LT patients with CKD at 7.6±4 years posttransplant (intervention group). Three patients had been previously switched to rapamycin, and 12 patients were on CNI. The control group included 15 LT patients on CNI with stable renal function over a similar posttransplant follow-up period.


Anti-CD25 mAb were given over a period of 26±15 months (range, 2-51 months) and were well tolerated. The slope of calculated creatinine clearance was -0.66 mL/min/month over 6 months before conversion and -0.05 mL/min/month after conversion to anti-CD25 mAb (P=0.16 and P=0.86 vs. controls). Three acute rejection episodes occurred in the intervention group. Acute rejection was reversible in two patients. However, one patient died of chronic rejection 1 year after having been switched to tacrolimus. Anti-CD25 mAb were replaced with either CNI or rapamycin in six patients (acute rejection [n=2], progression to end-stage renal disease [n=2], poor venous status [n=1], increased liver enzymes [n=1]).


The use of long-term anti-CD25 mAb therapy as a replacement to CNI and rapamycin-based immunosuppression may be feasible. It is crucial that rejection surveillance is intensified. A randomized controlled trial is required to confirm the benefits of this strategy.

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