Steroid-withdrawal at 3 days after renal transplantation with anti-IL-2 receptor alpha therapy: a prospective, randomized, multicenter study

Am J Transplant. 2004 May;4(5):803-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00419.x.


Steroids have been included in most immunosuppressive regimens after renal transplantation, but are feared for their side-effects. We conducted a prospective multicenter study to investigate whether it is feasible to withdraw steroids early after transplantation with the use of anti-IL-2Ralpha induction, tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF). A total of 364 patients were randomized to receive either two doses of daclizumab (1 mg/kg) and, for the first 3 days, 100 mg of prednisolone (daclizumab group n = 186), or steroids (tapered to 0 mg at week 16; controls n = 178). All patients received tacrolimus and MMF. The incidence of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection at 12 months was not different between the daclizumab group (15%) and the controls (14%) (95% confidence interval of difference: -6 to + 8%, NS). Graft survival at 12 months was comparable in the two groups (daclizumab group: 91%; controls: 90%). Mean arterial blood pressure, serum lipids, and incidence of patients with hyperglycemia were temporary lower in the daclizumab group compared with controls. The immunosuppressive regimen of the daclizumab group was associated with increased costs. In conclusion, with the use of anti-IL-2Ra induction and daily therapy with tacrolimus and MMF it is feasible to withdraw steroids at 3 days after renal transplantation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Daclizumab
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / pharmacology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Kidney Transplantation* / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / pharmacology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Interleukin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Steroids / pharmacology*
  • Tacrolimus / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • IL2RA protein, human
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Steroids
  • Daclizumab
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Tacrolimus