Renal failure after liver transplantation: outcome after calcineurin inhibitor withdrawal


Martine Neau-Cransac Liver Transplantation Unit, Pellegrin Hospital, Place Amélie Raba Léon, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France. Tel.: 335 5679 5522; fax: 335 5679 5629; e-mail:


Neau-Cransac M, Morel D, Bernard P-H, Merville P, Revel P, Potaux L, Saric J. Renal failure after liver transplantation. Outcome after calcineurin inhibitor withdrawal. Clin Transplant 2002: 16: 368–373. © Blackwell Munksgaard, 2002

Chronic nephrotoxicity is one of the most serious side-effects of calcineurin inhibitor treatment and a factor in mortality and morbidity after liver transplantation. In our transplant centre, among patients who underwent a liver transplantation between January 1989 and December 2000, 14 liver graft recipients (6.86%) developed de novo severe renal dysfunction as defined by a serum creatinine concentration above 200 micromol/L. Renal biopsy was performed in nine cases and evidenced histological lesions compatible with chronic nephrotoxicity related to calcineurin inhibitor treatment. For nine patients, we report the results of a prospective non-randomized study consisting of cyclosporine or tacrolimus withdrawal associated with administration of mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine. Despite this therapeutic modification, we did not observe a significant renal function improvement but on the other hand, there was no graft rejection.