Basiliximab as therapy for acute rejection after liver transplantation for hepatitis C virus cirrhosis

Biosci Trends. 2011;5(2):57-60. doi: 10.5582/bst.2011.v5.2.57.


Steroid bolus therapy for acute rejection after liver transplantation for hepatitis C virus (HCV) cirrhosis often results in graft loss due to adverse effects. The efficacy and safety of basiliximab for the treatment of acute cellular rejection (ACR) in adult liver transplantation has not been adequately evaluated. Three patients received basiliximab as rescue therapy for acute rejection. The outcome and biochemical parameters were recorded before and after treatment with basiliximab. These results were compared to 11 patients who received steroid therapy for ACR. The median time from transplantation to the development of ACR was 19 days (range, 9-49 days). The degree of ACR was mild or moderate. Resolution of rejection was obtained in all patients and the median time from the onset to resolution of ACR was 16 days (range, 6-41 days). A steroid resistant reaction occurred in 2 of 11 patients and OKT3 was used, and the rejection eventually resolved in all patients. Five patients died within 2 to 22 months after transplantation and four of them died from graft failure. In the basiliximab group, there were no significant immediate adverse effects. One patient died from pneumonia 8 months after transplantation.

In conclusion: Basiliximab can be safely used as rescue therapy for ACR without significant adverse effects in patients who underwent liver transplantation for HCV cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Basiliximab
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / drug therapy*
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Hepacivirus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / immunology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / virology*
  • Liver Transplantation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Basiliximab