• acute rejection;
  • early steroid withdrawal;
  • late steroid withdrawal;
  • renal transplantation;
  • steroid withdrawal

Sandrini S, Setti G, Bossini N, Chiappini R, Valerio F, Mazzola G, Maffeis R, Nodari F, Cancarini G. Early (fifth day) vs. late (sixth month) steroid withdrawal in renal transplant recipients treated with Neoral® plus Rapamune®: four-yr results of a randomized monocenter study. Clin Transplant 2009 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2009.01171.x. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  The most advisable timing for steroid withdrawal (CSWD) after renal transplantation (Tx) is still an open issue. This randomized study has compared early CSWD (at day 5) with late (at month 6) in patients under Neoral + Sirolimus. The primary end point was the percentage of success in CSWD at month 48. Ninety-six transplants from deceased donors were randomized to withdraw steroids either early (n = 49) or late (n = 47). At four yr, the two strategies were comparable for: success in CSWD (65% in both), graft survival (95% and 98%), patient survival (92% and 96%) creatininemia (1.7 ± 0.3 and 1.6 ± 0.4 mg/dL), side effects, being still on Sirolimus + Neoral (69% and 74%), reversibility of rejection (AR) (all cases), severity of AR (grade 1A/1B: 81% and 63%). The major differences were incidence of AR: at month twelve (48% vs. 30%, p < 0.04), at 48 (53% and 33%, p < 0.03); timing of AR (72 ± 86 d vs. 202 ± 119 d, p < 0.0001). The timing of CSWD influences neither the rate of successful CSWD nor the long-term results. However, early suspension causes a higher AR rate, mostly arising within month one, but always responsive to steroids. Yet, the early appearance of AR can make patient management easier and safer.