Maintaining calcineurin inhibition after the diagnosis of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder improves renal graft survival

Kidney Int. 2014 Jan;85(1):182-90. doi: 10.1038/ki.2013.253. Epub 2013 Jun 26.


Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is an uncontrolled proliferation of transformed lymphocytes fostered by immunosuppression. In addition to chemotherapy, treatment of PTLD includes a reduction of maintenance immunosuppression. Patients with PTLD have an increased risk of graft loss, suggesting that reduced immunosuppression strategy needs to be optimized with regard to graft outcome. Here we retrospectively reviewed 101 cases involving PTLD to identify the risks associated with graft loss. During a median follow-up of 70 months, 39 patients died and 21 lost their graft. Multivariate analysis found that an eGFR under 30 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) at PTLD diagnosis, a biopsy-proven acute rejection episode following reduction of immunosuppression, and the absence of calcineurin inhibition in maintenance immunosuppression are independent risk factors for allograft loss. Neither the type of PTLD nor the chemotherapy regimen was predictive of allograft failure. Histological analysis of graft biopsies showed that maintaining calcineurin inhibition after the diagnosis of PTLD reduced the risk of developing de novo anti-HLA antibodies and humoral rejection. Remarkably, calcineurin inhibitor maintenance was neither associated with higher mortality nor with worse progression-free survival. Thus, maintaining calcineurin inhibition at a reduced dose after the diagnosis of PTLD seems safe and may improve renal graft outcome, possibly through better control of the recipient's humoral immune response.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcineurin / physiology*
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / pathology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Graft Survival / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infant
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Calcineurin