Dr Laura Lladóa and colleagues from Spain evaluated the efficacy of a steroid-free immunosuppression protocol.
The team randomized 198 liver-transplant patients between 2001 and 2004.
The patients in Group1 received immunosuppression with Basiliximab and cyclosporine, along with prednisone.
The patients in Group2 received immunosuppression with Basiliximab and cyclosporine, but without prednisone.
The primary end points were acute rejection, and patient and graft survival.
The secondary end points were infection, metabolic complications, and Hepatitis C-virus recurrence.
|The overall rejection rate was 15%, with no differences between the groups|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The team found that the overall rejection rate was 15%, with no differences between the groups.
Infection rate was similar in both groups, at 51% in Group1 vs 47% in Group 2.
The researchers observed that diabetic patients in Group 2 had a significantly higher rate of bacterial infections.
The 6-month protocol biopsies showed Hepatitis C recurrence in 90% of patients, without differences between groups.
Hypertension was more frequent in Group 1 occurring in 44% vs 25% in Group 2.
De novo diabetes rate was higher in Group 1, at 29% vs 18% in Group 2, presenting with higher glycated hemoglobin levels.
The research team noted that 6-month survival rates were similar between the 2 groups.
Dr Lladóa's team concluded, “Immunosuppression without steroids is safe and reduces infection and metabolic complications.”