A controlled trial of cyclosporine in renal transplantation with conversion to azathioprine and prednisolone after three months

Transplantation. 1983 Sep;36(3):273-7. doi: 10.1097/00007890-198309000-00009.


Thirty-five patients given an HLA-DR-incompatible cadaver kidney that was diuresing immediately after transplantation were randomly allocated to treatment with cyclosporine alone for 3 months followed by conversion to azathioprine and prednisolone (AP), or to conventional treatment with AP. Although many patients had to be converted to AP before 90 days because of rejection requiring more than two treatment courses of high-dose i.v. methylprednisolone, 16 of 21 grafts were functioning at 3 months, and 12 of 14 grafts in the control group were functioning. However 3 further grafts were lost from chronic rejection in the control group, and none were lost from chronic rejection in the cyclosporine group. All but one patient on cyclosporine had depressed renal function, and in all these patients function improved on conversion to AP. This depression of renal function is attributed both to cyclosporine nephrotoxicity and to a low-grade rejection reaction, the latter suggesting that the addition of steroids to cyclosporine might be beneficial in some patients. The strategy of a three-month course of cyclosporine followed by conversion to AP provides satisfactory immunosuppression, and it may be of value if long-term side effects of cyclosporine emerge with further experience.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Azathioprine / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cyclosporins / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclosporins / adverse effects
  • Cyclosporins / blood
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / etiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / drug effects
  • Graft Survival
  • Histocompatibility / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Leukopenia / etiology
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage*


  • Cyclosporins
  • Prednisolone
  • Creatinine
  • Azathioprine