Of 25 simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (SPK) recipients treated with thymoglobulin induction, sirolimus and reduced-dose cyclosporine (CsA), 18 low-immune responders (non-African-Americans, PRA < 30%) were withdrawn from prednisone on post-transplant day 5, whereas seven high-immune responders continued on prednisone. Most high- and low-immune responder recipients were converted from CsA to mycophenolic acid (MPA) at six months post-transplantation. At a mean follow-up of 28 ± 10 months, two pancreas grafts were lost to pancreatitis. There were no patient or kidney graft losses, but one acute rejection episode. At 28 ± 11 months, all 18 low-responder recipients remain steroid-free. Twenty recipients (14 low and six high-immune responders) were converted from CsA to MPA. During conversion, immune response was monitored by Flow-PRA and T-cell stimulation (Cylex) assays. Nineteen of 20 recipients displayed a post-conversion PRA of 0%, whereas one highly sensitized patient expressed a post-conversion PRA of 67%. Fifty-eight percent of individual T-cell stimulation scores were in the hypo-responsive range. Twelve of 18 low-immune responders are both steroid and CsA-free at a mean follow-up of 17 ± 13 months, whereas five of seven high-immune responders remain CsA-free at a mean follow-up of 11 ± 10 months. These data suggest that thymoglobulin induction with combined sirolimus and CsA maintenance therapy permits immunosuppression minimization in selected SPK recipients.
- Kidney transplantation
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