Background. We investigated a novel immunosuppressive protocol including thymoglobulin induction in combination with sirolimus and corticosteroids, followed by introduction of markedly reduced exposures to cyclosporine to prevent pancreas-transplant rejection. Methods. A 7-day course of thymoglobulin (1.5 mg/kg per day) was begun on postoperative day (POD) 0, together with 15 mg of sirolimus on POD 1, and followed by 5 mg per day, targeting these doses to achieve a trough of 10 to 20 ng/mL. When the serum creatinine was below 2.5 mg/dL, cyclosporine was introduced at 50 mg twice daily with dose adjustment to maintain a trough concentration of 100 to 125 ng/mL. Results. The 18 patients included 14 simultaneous pancreas-kidney and 4 pancreas-after-kidney transplant recipients. Two patients were African-American, three patients had a pretransplant panel reactive antibody greater than 20%, and the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatch was 4.5±1 (mean±standard deviation). With a mean follow-up of 13.6±4.7 months, patient, kidney, and pancreas graft survivals are 100%, 100%, and 94%, respectively. A single pancreas graft was lost to thrombosis. There were no acute rejection episodes and no opportunistic infections. Mean hospital stay was 9±3 days. At 3 months posttransplantation, the mean value of serum creatinine was 1.2±0.3 mg/dL, fasting glucose was 88±15 mg/dL, and sirolimus dose at month 3 was 6.3±3 mg per day and at month 12 2.7±1 mg per day. The average total daily cyclosporine A dose at month 3 was 208±62 mg per day and 133±13 mg per day at 1 year. Conclusions. This immunosuppressive regimen provided excellent prophylaxis against acute rejection with no opportunistic infections. We believe that careful monitoring of sirolimus and cyclosporine levels was critical to success of this protocol.
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