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Long-term graft function with tacrolimus and cyclosporine in renal transplantation: paired kidney analysis.

Author(s): Cheung CY, Chan HW, Liu YL, Chau KF, Li CS

Affiliation(s): Renal Unit, Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong. simoncycheung@gmail.com

Publication date & source: 2009-12, Nephrology (Carlton)., 14(8):758-63.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

AIM: The first prospective, randomized trial with paired kidney analysis was conducted to compare the efficacy and safety of tacrolimus with cyclosporine-based immunosuppressive therapy in renal transplant recipients. This paper reports the long-term follow-up results of the authors' previously published study, with the main focus on graft survival and renal function. METHODS: Chinese patients transplanted in our centre between June 1998 and June 2005 with their first deceased renal transplant were included. Patients were included if both kidneys were received by the authors' centre, thus allowing a paired analysis. Patients were randomized to receive triple immunosuppressive therapy with either tacrolimus or Neoral cyclosporine, concomitantly with prednisolone and azathioprine therapy. RESULTS: Seventy-six patients received cadaveric kidneys from 38 donors. Each pair of kidneys was randomly assigned to a separate group (38 subjects/group). The mean follow-up duration was 6.1 +/- 1.8 years. The mean calculated creatinine clearance was significantly higher in patients receiving tacrolimus-based therapy. The rate of biopsy-proven acute rejection was lower in the tacrolimus group (18.4% vs 42.1%, P = 0.03). The patient and graft survival were comparable in both treatment arms. Significantly fewer patients on tacrolimus-based therapy developed hypercholesterolaemia (P = 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in the development of post-transplant diabetes mellitus, hypertension, opportunistic infection and malignancy between both groups. CONCLUSION: Using the immunosuppressive regimen, tacrolimus-based therapy provided adequate immunosuppression with better renal function and less acute rejection, as compared with cyclosporine-based therapy.

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