Late withdrawal of cyclosporine in stable renal transplant recipients

Am J Kidney Dis. 1995 Sep;26(3):487-94. doi: 10.1016/0272-6386(95)90495-6.


The use of cyclosporine (CsA) in renal transplantation has been associated with an improvement in 1-year graft survival, but has not changed the rate of late graft loss. We sought to determine whether the intent to withdraw CsA late after renal transplantation affects renal transplant survival and whether there is a racial difference in the effect of CsA withdrawal. This retrospective study included 384 consecutive patients receiving a renal transplant during the 1984 to 1991 period who were treated with CsA/azathioprine/prednisone and who had a functioning allograft 6 months following transplantation. Of these, 97 were electively withdrawn from CsA at a median of 22 months following transplantation. Factors significantly associated with the decision to withdraw CsA included white race, older age, and lower serum creatinine. Acute rejection within 6 months of stopping CsA occurred in 12 patients (12.4%), including nine of 78 (11.5%) white patients and three of 19 (15.8%) black patients. For the group of 287 patients who were not withdrawn from CsA, the 6-year graft survival rate was 59% (95% confidence interval, 52%, 66%). For the group of patients taken off of CsA, the 6-year graft survival rate was 84% (95% confidence interval, 76%, 92%). Cox proportional hazard survival analysis indicated that the intent to discontinue CsA was associated with better graft survival, with a hazard ratio of 0.37 (95% confidence interval, 0.20, 0.70), independent of other variables that may affect graft survival. A separate analysis controlling for waiting time bias also favored the CsA withdrawal group. There was no detectable racial difference in the effect of CsA withdrawal on graft survival.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / ethnology*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Survival / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • Cyclosporine