Effect of prednisone versus no prednisone as part of maintenance immunosuppression on long-term renal transplant function.

Lorenzo G. Gallon*, Johan Winoto, Joseph R. Leventhal, Michele A. Parker, Dixon B. Kaufman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Corticosteroids have been a component of maintenance immunosuppression for renal transplant since the 1960s and have helped to reduce the rate of acute rejection. Corticosteroids, however, have many adverse effects, and with the development of new immunosuppressive medications, many transplant centers have adopted protocols that eliminate or completely avoid the use of corticosteroids. Despite promising short-term results, the impact of corticosteroid elimination on long-term kidney function still is unclear. This single-center, retrospective, sequential study analyzed 212 renal transplant patients with a median follow-up of 5 yr. All patients received induction with IL-2 receptor antagonist and maintenance immunosuppression with mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus. Ninety-six patients were maintained on chronic prednisone, and 116 were maintained without chronic prednisone (rapid steroid elimination). Kaplan-Meier patient and graft survival at 7 yr after transplantation were not statistically different between the two groups. Rate and severity of acute cellular rejection were similar. Furthermore, the slope of GFR decline per month at 5 yr after transplantation was not statistically different between the two groups. Prednisone-treated patients had a significantly higher incidence of hyperlipidemia and posttransplantation diabetes when compared with patients with rapid steroid elimination. It was concluded that with the current immunosuppressive medications, the use of chronic prednisone to maintain long-term kidney function and prevent acute cellular rejection is not justified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1038
Number of pages10
JournalClinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN
Volume1
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation

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