A novel approach to the treatment of chronic allograft nephropathy

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Conference Proceeding

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Background. Progressive deterioration of renal function in kidney transplant recipients is the leading cause of graft failure. Both nonimmunologic and immunologic mechanisms contribute to this deterioration. Methods. Twenty-eight cyclosporine (CsA)-treated renal transplant recipients (21 cadaveric, 5 living, 2 simultaneous kidney-pancreas) with progressive deterioration of renal function were prospectively enrolled in a clinical trial and had their immunosuppressive regimen changed 24.3±7.7 months after transplant. All patients had their CsA dose reduced by 50%, azathioprine was discontinued, and mycophenolate mofetil was added to the medical regimen. The mean creatinine of the patients at the initiation of the change in immunosuppression was 3.5±1.2 mg/dl (range 1.9 to 6.2 mg/dl). Results. Before the change in immunosuppression, the mean loss in renal function as indicated by the least-squares slope of the reciprocal of creatinine versus time was -0.006±0.002 (mg/dl)-1 per month. The change in immunosuppression significantly decreased the rate of loss in renal function for most patients when compared with their pretreatment values with a mean slope of 0.007±0.003 (mg/dl)-1 per month (P=0.003). Renal function improved in 21 of 28 patients. Only one patient had continued deterioration of renal function. In a multivariate analysis adjusting for CsA dose, mean arterial blood pressure, and baseline creatinine, the change in immunosuppression was significantly associated with improved renal function (P=0.02). There were no acute rejections after the immunosuppression change. Conclusions. We conclude that adding mycophenolate mofetil and reducing CsA in patients with chronic deterioration of graft function is well tolerated and results in a short- term improvement in renal function.

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