A randomized, placebo-controlled trial with anti-interleukin-2 receptor antibody for immunosuppressive induction therapy after liver transplantation

Clin Transplant. 1998 Aug;12(4):303-12.


The introduction of quadruple induction therapy after liver transplantation with the murine anti-interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) antibody (BT563) has decreased the incidence of serious side effects, such as tachycardia, hypertension, rash, fever and nausea since it does not lyse its target cell. To investigate the immunosuppressive efficacy of BT563, a placebo-controlled trial was performed and BT563 was added to the standard triple induction after liver transplantation. Forty consecutive recipients of primary orthotopic liver transplants (OLT) (median age 47 yr [range 18-65]) were randomized. All patients received triple immunosuppression with cyclosporine A (CyA), prednisolone (PRED) and azathioprine (AZA). In addition, 19 patients received BT563 (Biotest, Dreieich, Germany) at a dose of 10 mg/d from day 0 until day 12. The remaining 21 patients received a placebo infusion at the same days after transplantation. Minimal follow-up for all patients was 3 yr. Patient survival at 3 yr was 74% in the BT563 group and 90% in placebo group. Similar results were observed for graft survival. Two acute rejection episodes were detected in the BT563 group and 9 acute rejections (5 steroid-resistant) were observed in the placebo group (p < 0.034). The incidences of sepsis, pneumonia, cholangitis, urinary tract infections as well as cytomegalo-virus (CMV) infections were similar in both groups. Side effects of the BT563 therapy and/or post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) were not detected. Quadruple induction therapy with BT563 significantly reduces the incidence of rejection episodes after liver transplantation, while infectious complications and/or PTLD is not increased. Therefore, the anti-IL2 receptor antibody BT563 constitutes a safe and efficient addition to the immunosuppressive induction regimen following OLT.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Azathioprine / administration & dosage
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Cholangitis / etiology
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incidence
  • Liver Transplantation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / immunology*
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Cyclosporine
  • Prednisolone
  • inolimomab
  • Azathioprine