Indexed on: 26 Apr '05Published on: 26 Apr '05Published in: Transplantation Proceedings
Basiliximab (BX) induction, tacrolimus (TAC), and steroids have sharply reduced acute cellular rejection at our institution. However, late graft loss has continued, for which sirolimus (SL) was introduced into the protocol.From July 1, 2001 to December 31, 2003, 152 live donor (LD) renal transplant recipients received TAC (level 15 to 20 ng/mL) and steroids, with BX induction. One hundred twenty-two patients (Group 1) received SL (3 mg/d African-americans; 2 mg/d for others) starting on days 2 and 3. The SL level was adjusted to 8 to 10 ng/d, usually by weeks 3 to 4 posttransplant. The TAC doses were then progressively reduced. Records were reviewed for demographics, immunosuppressive drug levels, serum cholesterol and blood pressure, and complications. Graft and patient survival rates were calculated. Comparison was made to 53 LD recipients transplanted from July 1, 1998, to June 30, 2001 (Group 2) receiving BX, steroids and TAC, without SL. Recipients of deceased donor kidneys were excluded because of variability in kidney quality, ischemic time, and patient management.Demographics were similar between groups: African Americans, 25% to 35%; mean age 36 years; mean HLA mismatch 3.7. Wound problems and infection were minimal in both groups. Mean serum creatinine and cholesterol and systolic and diastolic blood pressure measured periodically up to 1 year were similar, as was the incidence of rejection. In 25% of patients, SL was discontinued.Gradual introduction of SL appears to be associated with minimal wound problems. With more aggressive reduction in TAC, better renal function, and better long-term graft survival may be attainable. We currently lower TAC levels to 5 ng/mL by 3 months.