Background: There have been no published data on use of the the newer immunosuppressants tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in high immunological risk renal transplantation. We therefore undertook a prospective study to systematically assess outcomes using these agents as part of an aggressive immunosuppressive regimen.
Methods: Fifty-nine high-risk renal allograft recipients were enrolled at 10 Canadian sites and given a regimen of: a biological induction agent, tacrolimus, MMF, and corticosteroids. Patients included 10 (17%) who had lost a previous graft to rejection <1 yr, 31 (53%) with a current panel reactive antibody (PRA) >30%, 47 (80%) with a historic PRA >50%, four (7%) who had a positive historical T-cell crossmatch with the current donor, and six (10%) with a current positive B-cell crossmatch. The mean peak PRA was 76 +/- 33%.
Results: The estimated 3-yr Kaplan-Meier patient and graft survival estimates were 89% and 75%, respectively. There were nine graft losses other than deaths with a functioning graft, of which six were preceded by delayed graft function (p = 0.01, chi2). Sixteen (27%) recipients experienced at least one episode of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection. Infections included cytomegalovirus in 16 patients, eight of whom had tissue-invasive disease. Only one malignancy occurred.
Conclusions: The immunosuppressive strategy investigated is effective and displays a satisfactory safety profile in high immunological risk renal allograft recipients.