Background: The efficacy and safety of different combinations of immunosuppressive regimens after lung transplantation are unknown.
Methods: We examined 120 consecutive transplant recipients between July 2001 and July 2005, of whom 37 received cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil (Cyc/MMF) and 83 received tacrolimus and azathioprine (Tac/Aza) as the initial immunosuppressive regimen along with an interleukin-2 antagonist induction therapy. The primary outcome was the rate of histologically confirmed acute rejection.
Results: The rate of acute rejection did not vary by treatment regimen (0.42 vs 0.34 episodes per 100 person-days in Cyc/MMF and Tac/Aza groups, respectively, p = 0.22). The mean cumulative lymphocytic bronchiolitis score was greater in the Cyc/MMF group (1.8 +/- 1.9) compared with the Tac/Aza group (1.2 +/- 2.0; p = 0.03). Pulmonary function at 1 year was better in the Tac/Aza group, even when adjusted for recipient age, gender, and transplant procedure. Survival and the rate of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome did not vary by group.
Conclusions: Outcomes after lung transplantation did not meaningfully vary between those assigned to Cyc/MMF compared with Tac/Aza combined with IL-2 inhibitor induction therapy.