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Abstract

The effect of early nifedipine therapy on acute renal allograft rejection was studied in 170 adult cadaveric transplant recipients. Acute rejection occurring in the first 3 months after transplantation was diagnosed by Tru-cut biopsy and the severity of each rejection episode assessed histologically. The incidence of acute rejection was significantly lower in patients treated with nifedipine (29 of 80; 36 per cent) than in controls (52 of 90; 58 per cent) (P < 0.01) and there was a higher proportion of histologically mild rejection episodes in the former group (P < 0.01). Multivariate analysis confirmed that nifedipine exerted a significant independent effect on the incidence of early acute rejection. Other factors identified in the multivariate model as influencing rejection were human leucocyte antigen (HLA) matching at the DR locus, blood level of cyclosporin during the first week, HLA matching at the B locus, donor age and donor sex. The 1-year graft survival rate was 88.6 per cent in patients given nifedipine and 63.8 per cent in controls (P < 0.02). These data suggest that nifedipine therapy has a useful role in human renal transplantation.