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Transplantation. 1996 Aug 15;62(3):421-3.

Incidence of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia after renal transplantation. Impact of immunosuppression.

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Abt. für Nephrologie, Zentrum Innere Medizin, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany.


The incidence and potential risk factors of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in our population of renal transplant recipients were analyzed retrospectively. Of 1427 patients who received transplants between January 1986 and June 1994, 1192 were evaluated. Four different immunosuppressive regimens were applied: (1) cyclosporine (CsA) + prednisolone (Pred), (2) CsA + azathioprine (Aza, 2 mg/kg/day) + Pred, (3) CsA + Aza + antithymocyte globulin, and (4) (after December 1, 1993, European multicenter trial) FK506 + Aza (1 mg/kg/day) + Pred. No prophylaxis against PCP was performed. Before December 1, 1993, three PCPs in 494 patients on protocol 2 or 3 occurred (0.6%). Afterward, seven PCPs in 77 patients occurred (9%): three in 38 patients on protocol 2 (7.8%) and four in 28 patients on protocol 4 (14.3%). Comparing patients with PCP on CsA and FK506, the mean Aza dose was 2.40 and 1.32 mg/kg/day, five and two patients received additional steroids, antibody treatment was used in three and no patients, and CMV infections occurred in five and two patients, respectively. The incidence of PCP with a moderate CsA-based immunosuppressive regimen is low and seems to occur only in cases of additional immunosuppressive cofactors. Despite a general increase of PCP, its incidence was highest in patients on FK506 with fewer immunosuppressive cofactors. Thus, prophylaxis against PCP after renal transplantation should be performed, if not in every renal transplant recipient, at least in case of treatment with additional steroids, antibodies, or FK506.

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