Background: We combined alemtuzumab (Campath-1H, Berlex Laboratories, Montville, NJ) and tacrolimus (Tac) immunosuppression for intestinal and multivisceral transplantation.
Materials and methods: A total of 21 adult patients received 24 grafts: 14 intestinal, nine multivisceral, and one liver-intestinal graft. Alemtuzumab was administered perioperatively in four doses with low-dose Tac (levels 10-15 ng/dL) and no maintenance steroids. Tac was substituted with sirolimus in case of Tac-related complications. Suspected or mild rejections were treated with steroids. Moderate rejections were treated with steroids or OKT3. Severe rejections were treated with OKT3.
Results: Of the 16 patients that were followed up for an average of 9 months, 12 are alive with functioning grafts. Two patients experienced severe rejection, three experienced moderate rejection episodes, and seven experienced mild acute rejection episodes. Four patients never developed acute rejection. Infectious complications included a cytomegalovirus enteritis and four fungal infections (related to central venous access).
Conclusions: The combination of alemtuzumab and Tac therapy without steroid use seems to efficiently prevent acute rejection in a significant number of patients without causing frequent opportunistic infections.