Results of a randomized, prospective, multicenter trial of mycophenolate mofetil versus azathioprine in the prevention of acute lung allograft rejection.
BACKGROUND: Although the use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) has reduced the incidence of acute rejection in heart and kidney allograft recipients, its role in lung transplantation remains controversial. Therefore, we conducted a randomized, prospective, open-label, multicenter study in lung transplant recipients to determine whether MMF decreases episodes of acute allograft rejection when compared with azathioprine (AZA). METHODS: Between March of 1997 and January of 1999, 81 consecutive lung transplant recipients from two centers were prospectively randomized to receive cyclosporine, corticosteroids, and either 2 mg/kg per day of AZA or 1 g twice daily of MMF. The primary study endpoint was biopsy-proven acute allograft rejection over the first 6 months posttransplant. Secondary endpoints included clinical rejection, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, adverse events, and survival. Surveillance bronchoscopies were performed at 1, 3, and 6 months, or if clinically indicated. Pathologists interpreting the biopsy results were blinded to the randomization. Results were analyzed according to intention-to-treat. Between group comparisons of means and proportions were made by using two sample t tests and Fisher's exact tests, respectively. Six-month survival was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by the log rank test. RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients were prospectively randomized to receive AZA, and 43 MMF. The incidence of biopsy proven grade II or greater acute allograft rejection at 6 months was 58% in the AZA group and 63% in the MMF group (P=0.82). The 6-month survival rates in the MMF and AZA groups were 86% and 82%, respectively (P=0.57). Rates of CMV infection and adverse events were not significantly different between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Acute rejection rates and overall survival at 6 months are similar in lung transplant recipients treated with either MMF- or AZA-based immunosuppression.
Palmer, SM; Baz, MA; Sanders, L; Miralles, AP; Lawrence, CM; Rea, JB; Zander, DS; Edwards, LJ; Staples, ED; Tapson, VF; Davis, RD
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