Steroid-free maintenance immunosuppression with rapamune and low-dose neoral in pancreas transplant recipients.

Original article


Rajab A, Pelletier RP, Ferguson RM, Elkhammas EA, Bumgardner GL, Henry ML.

Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Transplantation. 2007 Nov 15;84(9):1131-7.


Background: Steroid-free immunosuppression is an attractive option because it avoids the many side effects of chronic corticosteroid use. It is especially attractive in pancreas recipients because it avoids the diabetogenic effects of steroids. Methods: We evaluated the outcome of a steroid-free maintenance immunosuppressive protocol in pancreas transplant recipients. Between August 2003 and May 2006, a total of 97 pancreas transplant recipients received steroid-free maintenance immunosuppression, consisting of induction with thymoglobulin and prednisone for the first 5 days. Patients were maintained on sirolimus adjusted to a target rapamycin trough level and reduced-dose cyclosporine adjusted to target C2 levels. All pancreas transplants (n=124) performed in the previous 3 years and maintained on a steroid-based immunosuppressive protocol with cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil were used for comparison. Results: One-year patient and death censored pancreas graft survival were 93.8% and 94.8% for the steroid free group versus 95.2% and 87.9% for the comparator group, respectively. The incidence of acute rejection was 9.3% in the steroid-free group versus 28.3% in the comparator group (P<0.01). No pancreas loss in the steroid-free group was caused by acute rejection, whereas seven (5.6%) patients in the comparator group lost their pancreases because of acute rejection (P<0.05). At 1 year after transplant, the mean serum glucose and creatinine levels were not different between the two groups. Conclusion: We conclude that excellent graft survival with a significantly lower incidence of acute rejection can be achieved using a steroid-free maintenance immunosuppressive protocol consisting of sirolimus and cyclosporine. Keywords: Steroid-free maintenance immunosuppression with rapamune and low-dose neoral in pancreas transplant recipients. Link/DOI:;jsessionid=HldVC2jr52zNwNZdmSvbV6DpbByfxvLpTSLWvjB1l722Wpb8LKnP!-1108188142!181195628!8091!-1