Background: Between September 20, 1995 and September 20, 1997, 208 adult patients undergoing renal transplantation were randomized to receive tacrolimus/prednisone (n=106) or tacrolimus/prednisone/mycophenolate mofetil (n=102), with the goal of reducing the incidence of rejection.
Methods: The mean recipient age was 50.7+/-13.7 years. Sixty-three (30.3%) patients were 60 years of age or older at the time of transplantation. The mean donor age was 34.5+/-21.7 years. The mean cold ischemia time was 30.5+/-9.2 hr. The mean follow-up is 15+/-7 months.
Results: The overall 1-year actuarial patient survival was 94%; the overall 1-year actuarial graft survival was 87%. When the patient and graft survival data were stratified to recipients under the age of 60 who did not have delayed graft function, the overall 1-year actuarial patient survival was 97%, and the corresponding 1-year actuarial graft survival was 93%. There were no differences between the two groups. The overall incidence of rejection was 36%; in the double-therapy group, it was 44%, whereas in the triple therapy group, it was 27% (P=0.014). The mean serum creatinine was 1.6+/-0.8 mg/dl. A total of 36% of the successfully transplanted patients were taken off prednisone; 32% of the patients were taken off antihypertensive medications. The incidence of delayed graft function was 21%, the incidence of cytomegalovirus was 12.5%, and the initial and final incidences of posttransplant insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus were 7.0% and 2.9%; again, there was no difference between the two groups.
Conclusions: This trial suggests that the combination of tacrolimus, steroids, and mycophenolate mofetil is associated with excellent patient and graft survival and a lower incidence of rejection than the combination of tacrolimus and steroids.