OKT3 prophylaxis in liver transplantation

S. V. McDiarmid, Michael J. Millis, Paul I. Terasaki, Marvin E. Ament, Ronald W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In a randomized prospective study of liver transplant recipients, we compared prophylaxis with OKT3, steroids, and azathioprine to cyclosporine, steroids, and azathioprine. Seventy-two percent of patients receiving OKT3 prophylaxis were rejection free in the first 14 days compared to 41% in the cyclosporine group (P=0.02). However, after 14 days through a mean of 6.3 months, the overall incidence of rejection did not differ between the two groups (74% for the cyclosporine group and 48% for the OKT3 group). There was no increase in the rate of infectious complications noted in the OKT3-treated group. Thirty-nine percent of the OKT3-treated patients developed anti-OKT3 antibodies. Eight patients in the OKT3 group required reuse of OKT3 for rejection. Six of these continued to have greater than 10% CD3-positive cells with retreatment. Five were rescued successfully. With a mean survival of greater than 674±209 days in the OKT3-treated group and 626±242 days in the cyclosporine-treated group, no overall differences in graft and patient survival, liver function, renal function, late rejection incidence, or infectious complications were evident between the two groups. We conclude that OKT3 offers no long-term benefit compared to cyclosporine prophylaxis and should be reserved for treatment of rejection in patients in whom cyclosporine may be contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1426
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • cyclosporine
  • liver transplantation
  • OKT3
  • prophylaxis
  • rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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