Background: The relative benefit versus safety of induction therapy in live-donor renal transplant recipients is controversial. This paper presents observational data of live-donor recipients who received Thymoglobulin induction and standard maintenance immunosuppressive therapy.
Methods: Review and analysis of clinic records and electronic databases of live-donor renal transplants that received Thymoglobulin induction from May 1996 through 2003.
Results: Data analysis included 214 live-donor recipients (146 related, 68 unrelated) with a mean follow-up of 3.0+/-1.9 years. The average age of recipients was 44+/-13 years, with a majority being Caucasian (86%) and male (64%). Nineteen (9%) received previous transplants. No patients experienced delayed graft function and 10 (5%) developed acute rejection. Overall, predicted five-year patient survival was 96% and graft survival was 82%. The rates of CMV infection (5%), malignancy (3%), and lymphoproliferative disorder (0.5%) were low. When compared to live-donor kidney transplant recipients nationwide, the center cohort demonstrated improved five year patient (96% center versus 90% national, P=0.0326) and graft survival (82% center versus 79% national, P=0.0901), and a lower one-year acute rejection rate (2% center versus 21 % national, P<0.001).
Conclusions: In this analysis, the use of Thymoglobulin in live-donor renal transplantation was associated with an absence of delayed graft function, low acute rejection rates, and high patient and graft survival without increasing the risk of infection or lymphoproliferative disorder.