Background: In this series of 32 adult-to-adult living related liver transplantations, we assessed the efficacy and safety of basiliximab in combination with a tacrolimus-based regimen. Basiliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the alpha chain of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor (CD25), has been extensively evaluated as induction therapy for cadaveric liver transplant recipients.
Patients and methods: Thirty-two adult-to-adult living related liver transplantations were performed in the last 3 years. All patients received two 20 mg doses of basiliximab (days 0 and 4 posttransplantation) followed by tacrolimus (0.15 mg/kg/d; 10-15 ng/mL target trough levels) and steroids (starting with 20 mg IV switched to PO as soon as the patient was able to eat and weaned within 1-2 months). The average follow-up was 395 days after transplantation.
Results: Of the patients, 93.75% remained rejection-free during follow-up with an actuarial rejection-free probability of 92.59% within 3 months. Two patients (6%) had one episode of biopsy-proven acute cellular rejection (ACR). Actuarial patient and graft survival rates at 3 years were 86.85% and 81.25%. One patient (3%) experienced one episode of sepsis. There was no evidence of cytomegalovirus infections or side effects related to the basiliximab. We found zero de novo malignancy but we observed two patients with metastatic spread of their primary malignancy during the follow-up.
Conclusion: Basiliximab in association with tacrolimus and steroids is effective as prophylaxis of ACR among adult living related liver transplant recipients.