A novel approach to the treatment of chronic allograft nephropathy.
BACKGROUND: Progressive deterioration of renal function in kidney transplant recipients is the leading cause of graft failure. Both nonimmunologic and immunologic mechanisms contribute to this deterioration. METHODS: Twenty-eight cyclosporine (CsA)-treated renal transplant recipients (21 cadaveric, 5 living, 2 simultaneous kidney-pancreas) with progressive deterioration of renal function were prospectively enrolled in a clinical trial and had their immunosuppressive regimen changed 24.3+/-7.7 months after transplant. All patients had their CsA dose reduced by 50%, azathioprine was discontinued, and mycophenolate mofetil was added to the medical regimen. The mean creatinine of the patients at the initiation of the change in immunosuppression was 3.5+/-1.2 mg/dl (range 1.9 to 6.2 mg/dl). RESULTS: Before the change in immunosuppression, the mean loss in renal function as indicated by the least-squares slope of the reciprocal of creatinine versus time was -0.006+/-0.002 (mg/dl)-1 per month. The change in immunosuppression significantly decreased the rate of loss in renal function for most patients when compared with their pretreatment values with a mean slope of 0.007+/-0.003 (mg/dl)-1 per month (P=0.003). Renal function improved in 21 of 28 patients. Only one patient had continued deterioration of renal function. In a multivariate analysis adjusting for CsA dose, mean arterial blood pressure, and baseline creatinine, the change in immunosuppression was significantly associated with improved renal function (P=0.02). There were no acute rejections after the immunosuppression change. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that adding mycophenolate mofetil and reducing CsA in patients with chronic deterioration of graft function is well tolerated and results in a short-term improvement in renal function.
Weir, MR; Anderson, L; Fink, JC; Gabregiorgish, K; Schweitzer, EJ; Hoehn-Saric, E; Klassen, DK; Cangro, CB; Johnson, LB; Kuo, PC; Lim, JY; Bartlett, ST
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