Steroids have been central to immunosuppressive therapy since the early days of transplantation.
|The steroid-free group had reduced rates of graft rejection.|
However, steroid avoidance could be beneficial, especially in children, as steroids are often associated with negative outcomes including arterial hypertension, growth retardation, and hyperlipidemia.
In a pilot study, Dr Raymond Reding and colleagues from Saint-Luc University, Brussels, Belgium, compared the success of liver transplantation under steroid-free immunosuppression in 20 children with a group of 20 historical controls.
They found that the children who were not given steroids had reduced rates of graft rejection (25%) after 12 months, compared with children who had received steroid treatment (50%).
Raymond Reding comments, "Except for one preliminary report, findings on steroid-free immunosuppression have yet to be reported for pediatric liver transplantation".
"Our results suggest no harmful effect of steroid avoidance for graft acceptance, but this finding will need to be confirmed after extended follow-up".