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Abstract

Limited data exist for the use of alemtuzumab (AL) induction in liver transplantation (LT) recipients. We compared the outcomes of hepatitis C virus–negative LT recipients who received AL induction followed by tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil without steroids to cohort who received no AL induction, tacrolimus, and a steroid taper. Fifty-five AL-induced recipients were compared to 85 non–AL-induced recipients with similar characteristics. Two-year patient survival (80% versus 88.2%, P = 0.0665) and graft survival (76.4% versus 82.4%, P = 0.1792) were not significantly different between the AL and non-AL groups, respectively. Other outcomes, including acute rejection (20% versus 30.3%), renal dysfunction (creatinine levels: 1.3 ±0.3 versus 1.4 ± 0.6 mg/dL), and immunosuppressant monotherapy (29.1% versus 44.3%), were not significantly different between the AL and non-AL groups, respectively (P > 0.05). The number of rejection episodes (12 versus 42, P = 0.02) and the number of patients with new-onset hypertension (3 versus 15, P = 0.03) were lower in the AL group, although the incidence of all posttransplant infections was higher with AL (63.6% versus 44.3%, P = 0.03), primarily because of an increase in viral infections. In conclusion, a steroid-free AL induction regimen was associated with less hypertension and rejection but with more infectious complications; thus, the overall benefit of AL induction in LT recipients is called into question. Liver Transpl 17:32–37, 2011. © 2011 AASLD.