Background: A previous report described the 1-year results of a prospective, randomized trial designed to investigate the optimal combination of immunosuppressants in kidney transplantation. Recipients of first cadaveric kidney allografts were treated with tacrolimus+mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), cyclosporine oral solution (modified) (CsA)+MMF, or tacrolimus+azathioprine (AZA). Results at 1 year revealed that optimal efficacy and safety were achieved with a regimen containing tacrolimus+MMF. The present report describes results at 2 years.
Methods: Two hundred twenty-three recipients of first cadaveric kidney allografts were randomized to receive tacrolimus+MMF, CsA+MMF, or tacrolimus+AZA. All regimens contained corticosteroids, and antibody induction was used only in patients who experienced delayed graft function. Patients were followed up for 2 years.
Results: The results at 2 years corroborate and extend the findings of the previous report. Patients randomized to either treatment arm containing tacrolimus experienced improved kidney function. New-onset insulin dependence remained in four, three, and four patients in the tacrolimus+MMF, CsA+MMF, and tacrolimus+AZA treatment arms, respectively. Furthermore, patients with delayed graft function/acute tubular necrosis who were treated with tacrolimus+MMF experienced a 23% increase in allograft survival compared with patients receiving CsA+MMF (P=0.06). Patients randomized to tacrolimus+MMF received significantly lower doses of MMF compared with those administered CsA+MMF.
Conclusions: All three immunosuppressive regi-mens provided excellent safety and efficacy. How-ever, the best results overall were achieved with tacrolimus+MMF. The combination may provide particular benefit to kidney allograft recipients who develop delayed graft function/acute tubular necrosis. Renal function at 2 years was better in the tacrolimus treatment groups compared with the CsA group.