A three-arm study comparing immediate tacrolimus therapy with antithymocyte globulin induction therapy followed by tacrolimus or cyclosporine A in adult renal transplant recipients
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Transplantation. - Baltimore, Md, 1963, currens
, p. 844-851
Background. Induction therapy with antithymocyte globulin (ATG) reduces the incidence of acute rejection after transplantation. A study was undertaken to assess the efficacy and safety of ATG induction on tacrolimus-based and cyclosporine A (CsA)-based therapies compared with immediate tacrolimus triple therapy in kidney transplant recipients. Methods. In a 6-month, open-label, randomized, prospective study conducted in 30 European centers, 555 renal transplant patients were randomly assigned to tacrolimus triple therapy (Tac triple, n=185), ATG induction with tacrolimus (ATG-Tac, n= 186), or ATG induction with CsA microemulsion (ATG-CsA, n=184); all were combined with azathioprine, and corticosteroids. The primary endpoint was incidence and time to first acute rejection episode confirmed by biopsy. Results. Patient demographics and clinical parameters at baseline were similar. Patient and graft survival rates were similar in all groups. The incidence of clinically apparent acute rejection was significantly higher (P=0.003) for Tac triple (33.0%) compared with ATG-Tac (22.6%) and the incidence for ATG-Tac was significantly lower (P=0.004) than for ATG-CsA (37.0%). The incidences of acute rejection confirmed by biopsy (primary endpoint) were 25.4%, 15.1%, and 21.2% for Tac triple, ATG-Tac, and ATG-CsA, respectively (Tac triple vs. ATG-Tac, P=0.004). The incidences of corticosteroid-resistant acute rejection were 7.0% (Tac triple), 4.8% (ATG-Tac), and 10.9% (ATG-CsA) (ATG-Tac vs. ATG-CsA, P=0.038). In the ATG groups, the incidences of leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, serum sickness, fever, and cytomegalovirus infection were significantly higher (P<0.05). Conclusions. Acute rejection was significantly lower in the ATG-Tac group compared with the ATG-CsA and Tac triple groups. Significantly more hematologic and infectious adverse events were observed in both ATG induction groups.