Strategies in clinical diagnosis and treatment of steroid-resistant acute rejection after orthotopic liver transplantation

X. J. Lu, Y. H. Chen, Y. Ma, X. F. Zhu, X. S. He

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5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To explore the diagnostic evidence and treatment strategies for steroid-resistant acute rejection (SRAR) after orthotopic liver transplantation.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed among 1038 patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation in our hospital from January 2004 to December 2013. A total of 169 acute rejection (AR) episodes occurred in 153 patients. Sixteen of the patients were diagnosed with SRAR because of no response to large-dose steroid pulse therapy. The diagnosis and treatment of the 16 patients were analyzed retrospectively. Comparison of data was made by χ2 test or t test, and a P value of <0.05 was considered to be significant.

RESULTS: The incidence of AR after liver transplantation was 14.74% (153/1038) in all the patients. The incidence of SRAR was 9.47% (16/169) in patients with AR. In the 16 patients with SRAR, 3 were treated with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (OKT3), 9 were treated with monoclonal antibody against IL-2 receptor, and 4 received antithymocyte globulin (ATG) therapy. After treatment, SRAR was reversed in 12 of the 16 patients and caused death of the other 4 patients, yielding a reversal rate of 75% and a mortality rate of 25%.

CONCLUSION: SRAR after liver transplantation has a low incidence rate but poor prognosis. The diagnosis of SRAR is mainly based on the clinical manifestation, laboratory test, liver biopsy, and poor response or rejection to methyl prednisolone pulse therapy. ATG and OKT3 achieve substantial outcomes in most of the patients in the treatment of SRAR. Particularly, compared with OKT3, ATG achieves a higher reversal rate and fewer adverse reactions, which is expected to become the first-line treatment of SRAR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-301
Number of pages5
JournalZhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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