Body weight alterations under early corticosteroid withdrawal and chronic corticosteroid therapy with modern immunosuppression

Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):800-1. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2004.11.030.


Weight gain is a well-known complication of corticosteroid maintenance therapy. The purpose of our study was to compare patterns of weight gain under chronic corticosteroid therapy (CCST) to those observed under early corticosteroid withdrawal (CSWD) in renal transplant recipients.

Methods: Renal transplant recipients who underwent early CSWD in IRB-approved prospective trials were compared to a historical control group of patients receiving CCST who were matched for age, sex, and race.

Results: One hundred sixty-nine patients with early CSWD were compared to 132 patients who received CCST. Mean population weight gain was significantly higher in CCST patients at 12 months (5.52 kg vs 3.05 kg, P < .05) posttransplant. Caucasian CSWD patients demonstrated a greater reduction in weight gain with CSWD than African Americans (mean weight decrease 2.9 vs 1.9 kg/patient, P < .05). Patients who were overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25-30) or obese (BMI > 30) demonstrated a greater reduction in weight gain with CSWD at 1 year (mean reduction in weight gain with CSWD 5.3 kg/patient and 4.4 kg/patient) than did patients of normal weight (BMI < 25; 0.1 kg/patient, P < .01 and <.05 versus BMI < 25).

Conclusions: Early CSWD patients gain significantly less weight than CCST patients following transplantation. Marked variations in the effect of early CSWD on weight gain may be observed due to race and pretransplant BMI. Caucasians and overweight patients demonstrate greater benefits from CSWD than African Americans and patients with normal BMI.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents