Radiation therapy for renal transplant rejection refractory to pulse steroids and OKT3.
PURPOSE: To determine the response rate and kidney graft survival following local irradiation to the transplanted renal graft undergoing persistent rejection after medical management including pulse steroids and OKT3. The role of radiation for renal transplant rejection after failure of OKT3 has not been previously reported. METHODS AND MATERIALS: From July 1, 1988 to July 1, 1994, 72 consecutive patients with kidney graft rejection were treated with local irradiation to the transplanted renal graft following failure of medical management. All patients received pulse steroids and OKT3, an anti-CD3 immunosuppressant. Patients who failed to respond to methylprednisolone and OKT3 therapy were referred for radiation therapy. The median time from the diagnosis of rejection to irradiation was 8 days. All kidney grafts received local graft irradiation to a total of 8 Gy delivered in four daily fractions. RESULTS: Sixty (83%) patients initially responded to radiotherapy at 7 days after completion of radiotherapy, as defined by a decrease in serum creatinine. Thirty-five responding patients have not experienced a second episode of graft rejection. Overall, 43 (60%) patients have renal graft survival, with a median follow-up of 16 months (range of 6-73 months)> CONCLUSION: It is concluded that there is a subgroup of kidney graft patients undergoing graft rejection who are refractory to pulse steroids and OKT3 therapy where irradiation may be an effective modality with high rates of response and a moderate rate of graft survival. However, a prospective, randomized trial in these medically refractory patients is needed to ascertain whether these results are clinically significant.
Noyes, WR; Rodriguez, R; Knechtle, SJ; Pirsch, JD; Sollinger, HW; D'Alessandro, AM; Chappell, R; Belzer, FO; Kinsella, TJ
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