[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggest that the majority of renal allografts are affected by progressive, severe chronic histologic injury, yet studies using current protocols are lacking. The goal of this study was to examine the prevalence and progression of histologic changes using protocol allograft biopsies at 1 and 5 years after solitary kidney transplantation in patients transplanted between 1998 and 2004. Chronic histologic changes generally were mild at both 1 and 5 years and were similar in deceased and living donor kidneys. The overall prevalence of moderate or severe fibrosis was 13% (60/447) at 1 year and 17% (60/343) at 5 years. In a subgroup of 296 patients who underwent both 1- and 5-year biopsies, mild fibrosis present at 1 year progressed to more severe forms at 5 years in 23% of allografts. The prevalence of moderate or severe arteriolar hyalinosis was similar in tacrolimus and calcineurin inhibitor-free immunosuppression. These results in the recent era of transplantation demonstrate fewer, less severe and less progressive chronic histologic changes in the first 5 years after transplantation than previously reported.
American Journal of Transplantation 11/2010; 11(4):698-707. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03312.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a debilitating disease in patients with severely diminished kidney function. Currently, no standard treatment exists but improvement has been reported after restoration of kidney function. We retrospectively studied 17 NSF patients with and without successful kidney transplantation (KTx) to evaluate the effects of KTx on NSF. Nine of the 11 KTx developed NSF pretransplant whereas two developed NSF immediately after KTx with delayed graft function. Two of the six dialysis patients had previous failed kidney transplants. Age and sex were well matched. All but one patient was dialysis dependent at the time of NSF. Median follow-up was 35 months for KTx patients and 9 months for dialysis patients. Kidney transplants achieved adequate renal function with median serum creatinine of 1.4 (0.9-2.8) mg/dL and a glomerular filtration rate of 42 (19-60) mL/min/1.73 m(2). NSF improved in 54.6% of the transplanted patients and 50% of the nontransplanted patients (p = 0.86). Two KTx patients had complete resolution of their symptoms whereas four had partial improvement. Improvement in the dialysis patients was all partial. Successful KTx did not insure improvement in NSF and in fact appeared to have no significant benefit over dialysis.
American Journal of Transplantation 03/2010; 10(3):558-62. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02959.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of circadian BP change has been linked to target organ damage and accelerated kidney function loss in hypertensive patients with and without chronic kidney disease. Ambulatory BP-derived data from 119 consecutive kidney transplant recipients who presented for the first annual evaluation were examined in relation to allograft function, histology, and ultrasound findings. A total of 101 (85%) patients were receiving antihypertensive medications (median 2), and 85 (71%) achieved target awake average systolic BP (SBP) of <135 mmHg. A day-night change in SBP by 10% or more (dippers) was detected in 29 (24%). Dipping status was associated with younger recipient age, lack of diabetes, low chronic vascular score, and low resistive index. Nondippers and reverse dippers had lower GFR compared with dippers (P = 0.04). For every 10% nocturnal drop in SBP, GFR increased by 4.6 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) (R = 0.3, P = 0.003). Nondippers and reverse dippers were equally common in recipients with normal histology and in those with pathologic findings on surveillance biopsy. On multivariate analysis, percentage of nocturnal fall in SBP and elevated resistive index independently correlated with GFR. This study indicates that lack of nocturnal fall in SBP is related to poor allograft function, high chronic vascular score, and high resistive index irrespective of allograft fibrosis. Further studies are needed to determine whether restoration of normal BP pattern will confer better allograft outcome.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 05/2007; 18(5):1607-15. DOI:10.1681/ASN.2006111289 · 9.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PVAN) is managed by reduced immunosuppression with or without antiviral therapy. Data from 55 patients with biopsy-proven PVAN were analyzed for adverse outcomes and influence of baseline variables and interventions. During 20+/-11 months follow-up, the frequencies of graft loss, major and any functional decline were 15%, 24% and 38%, respectively. Repeat biopsies were performed in 45 patients with persistent PVAN in 47%. Low-dose cidofovir, IVIG and cyclosporine conversion were used in 55%, 20% and 55% of patients. No single intervention was associated with improved outcome. Of the variables examined, only degree of interstitial fibrosis at diagnosis was associated with kidney function decline. In contrast, donor source, interstitial fibrosis, proportion of BKV positive tubules and plasma viral load at diagnosis were all associated with failure of histological viral clearance. This retrospective, nonrandomized analysis suggests that: (i) Graft loss within 2 years of PVAN diagnosis is now uncommon, but ongoing functional decline and persistent infection occur frequently. (ii) Low-dose cidofovir, IVIG and conversion to cyclosporine do not abrogate adverse outcomes following diagnosis. (iii) Fibrosis at the time of diagnosis predicts subsequent functional decline. Further elucidation of the natural history of PVAN and its response to individual interventions will require prospective clinical trials.
American Journal of Transplantation 06/2006; 6(5 Pt 1):1025-32. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2006.01296.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcineurin inhibitors have decreased acute rejection and improved early renal allograft survival, but their use has been implicated in the development of chronic nephrotoxicity. We performed a prospective, randomized trial in kidney transplantation comparing sirolimus-MMF-prednisone to tacrolimus-MMF-prednisone. Eighty-one patients in the sirolimus group and 84 patients in the tacrolimus group were enrolled (mean follow-up = 33 months; range 13-47 months). At 1 year, patient survival was similar in the groups (98% with sirolimus, 96% with tacrolimus; p = 0.42) as was graft survival (94% sirolimus vs. 92% tacrolimus, p = 0.95). The incidence of clinical acute rejection was 10% in the tacrolimus group and 13% in the sirolimus group (p = 0.58). There was no difference in mean GFR measured by iothalamate clearance between the tacrolimus and sirolimus groups at 1 year (61 +/- 19 mL/min vs. 63 +/- 18 mL/min, p = 0.57) or 2 years (61 +/- 17 mL/min vs. 61 +/- 19 mL/min, p = 0.84). At 1 year, chronicity using the Banff schema showed no difference in interstitial, tubular or glomerular changes, but fewer chronic vascular changes in the sirolimus group. This study shows that a CNI-free regimen using sirolimus-MMF-prednisone produces similar acute rejection rates, graft survival and renal function 1-2 years after transplantation compared to tacrolimus-MMF-prednisone.
American Journal of Transplantation 04/2006; 6(3):514-22. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.01177.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary systemic amyloidosis (AL) is characterized by multiorgan deposition of monoclonal immunoglobulin light chain. Renal involvement is common and impaired kidney function is associated with reduced median survival. Autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT) for AL achieves superior response rates compared to chemotherapy alone but patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may be excluded from consideration. A treatment approach consisting of living donor kidney transplantation (LDKTx) followed by autologous SCT was developed for AL with ESRD. Eight patients underwent LDKTx with immediate graft function. Two suffered unanticipated complications post-KTx and died 10 and 3 months later. Two cases of subclinical acute cellular rejection (ACR) and one case of clinical ACR occurred--all reversible with corticosteroid. Six patients had successful stem cell harvests performed and five of these underwent SCT with satisfactory trilineage engraftment. Renal function remained stable following SCT in four and was reduced in one due to infectious and bleeding complications. One patient, who has thus far elected not to undergo SCT, has proteinuria and histologic evidence of recurrent renal amyloidosis. This experience supports the feasibility of sequential living donor KTx and autologous SCT for carefully selected patients with ESRD due to AL.
American Journal of Transplantation 08/2005; 5(7):1660-70. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.00920.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Donor age adversely affects deceased-donor kidney transplant outcomes, but its influence on living-donor transplantation is less well characterized.
Living-donor kidney transplants at a single center between 1998 and 2000 were reviewed. Data were abstracted for 52 transplants from donors aged > or =50 years and for a matched group of 104 transplants from donors aged <50 years. Survival indices were compared during the first three years' post-transplantation. Functional indices, including serial iothalamate clearances, were compared at 1, 12, and 24 months.
Predonation glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was lower among older donors (94 +/- 12 vs. 108 +/- 17 mL/min/SA) but post-transplant compensatory hypertrophy was similar (11.7 +/- 26.3% vs. 7.7 +/- 31.4%). Recipients of older-donor grafts were older (52.8 +/- 16.5 vs. 46.1 +/- 15.1 years) and more frequently unrelated to the donor (54% vs. 39%). Trends toward higher frequency of slow graft function, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, and polyomavirus nephropathy were observed for older-donor grafts. Three-year recipient, graft, and death-censored graft survivals were > or =90% for both groups. At 1, 12, and 24 months, serum creatinine was higher and GFR was lower among recipients of older- compared with younger-donor grafts. Other functional indices (urine total protein, serum potassium and uric acid, hemoglobin, and number of antihypertensives) were not different. Donor age correlated with graft GFR at 1, 12, and 24 months for the entire study cohort by linear regression.
Older donor age does not preclude excellent results from living-donor kidney transplantation but should be appreciated as being associated with relatively lower GFR.
Kidney International 10/2004; 66(4):1654-61. DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1755.2004.00932.x · 8.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rising numbers of patients reaching end-stage kidney disease intensify the demand for expansion of the living-kidney-donor pool. On the basis of low risk in white donors with essential hypertension, our transplant center undertook a structured program of accepting hypertensive donors if kidney function and urine protein were normal. This study reports outcomes of hypertensive donors 1 year after kidney donation.
We studied detailed measurements of blood pressure (oscillometric, hypertensive therapy nurse [RN], and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring [ABPM]), clinical, and renal characteristics (iothalamate glomerular filtration rate [GFR], urine protein, and microalbumin) in 148 living kidney donors before and 6 to 12 months after nephrectomy. Twenty-four were hypertensive (awake ABPM>135/85 mm Hg and clinic/RN BP>140/90 mm Hg) before donation.
After 282 days, normotensive donors had no change in awake ABPM pressure (pre 121 +/- 1/75 +/- 2 vs. post 120 +/- 1/ 5 +/- 1 mm Hg), whereas BP in hypertensive donors fell with both nonpharmacologic and drug therapy (pre 142 +/- 3/85 +/- 2 to post 132 +/- 2/80 +/- 1 mm Hg, P<.01). Hypertensive donors were older (53.4 vs. 41.4 years, P<.001) and had lower GFR after kidney donation (61 +/- 2 vs. 68 +/- 1 mL/min/1.73m, P<.01). After correction for age, no independent BP effect was evident for predicting GFR either before or after nephrectomy. Urine protein and microalbumin did not change in either group after donor nephrectomy.
Our results indicate that white subjects with moderate, essential hypertension and normal kidney function have no adverse effects regarding blood pressure, GFR, or urinary protein excretion during the first year after living kidney donation. Although further studies are essential to confirm long-term safety, these data suggest that selected hypertensive patients may be accepted for living kidney donation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreas transplant alone (PTA) has become accepted therapy for select nonuremic patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, PTA may lead to significant complications including a decline in native renal function. This study examines trends in native renal function during the first posttransplant year in PTA recipients with a spectrum of pretransplant glomerular filtration rates (GFR).
Renal function was studied in 23 recipients of bladder-drained PTA who underwent transplantation from April 1998 through September 2001. GFR was measured by corrected iothalamate clearance at the time of transplant evaluation and 1 year posttransplant and also calculated using the Cockcroft-Gault method at the transplant evaluation; at the day of transplantation; and at 1, 6, and 12 months posttransplant.
Iothalamate clearance decreased in the first year in 96% of patients (22 of 23). The mean measured GFR decreased from 84 +/- 33 mL/min/1.73 m2 pretransplant to 52 +/- 26 mL/min/1.73 m2 at 1 year (P <0.001). Calculated creatinine clearance declined in the majority of patients at both 1 and 12 months after PTA, but some patients, including a few with low GFR, maintained stable renal function. Calculated GFR generally correlated well with measured GFR in most patients, with a few notable exceptions. One patient (baseline GFR, 42 mL/min/1.73 m2) developed renal failure in the first year after transplant and required kidney transplantation.
Bladder-drained PTA results in a decline in native renal function in the majority of patients regardless of the pretransplant GFR. These data suggest the need for strategies to prevent or minimize the decline in renal function after PTA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Historically, the clinical acceptability of pancreas-after-kidney (PAK) transplantation has been hampered by relatively high acute rejection rates and lower pancreas graft survival rates when compared with the more commonly performed simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation. The purpose of this study was to compare PAK transplantation to SPK transplantation in the Thymoglobulin induction era.
The authors reviewed all bladder-drained PAK (n=47) transplants receiving rabbit antithymocyte globulin induction from June 1998 to June 2002 and compared them with SPK (n=25) transplants during the same time period at their institution. The authors retrospectively studied data on demographics, patient survival, graft (pancreas and kidney) survival, complications, and biopsy-proven rejection episodes.
The actuarial 1-year patient survival was 93% for the PAK group versus 100% for the SPK group (P =not significant [NS]). The actuarial 1-year pancreas graft survival was 87% for the PAK group versus 92% for the SPK group (P =NS). Waiting time for PAK was significantly shorter than for SPK (6.3 +/- 5.2 vs. 16.2 + -13.7 months, P <0.05). Clinical acute rejection rates were similar in the two groups (4.3% for PAK vs. 4.0% for SPK). PAK recipients demonstrated a greater decline in renal function after transplantation compared with SPK. A multivariate analysis failed to elucidate the cause.
Newer immunosuppressive regimens allow PAK transplant patients to achieve immunologic outcomes similar to SPK transplant patients. Although the shorter waiting time and the ability to use living-donor kidneys make PAK an increasingly attractive alternative to SPK transplantation, its effect on renal allograft function deserves further attention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to characterize the histology of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in ABO blood-group-incompatible (ABOI) kidney transplants as well as on protocol biopsies performed at the time of stable allograft function. Between 5/99 and 1/02, we performed 32 ABOI kidney transplants (13 A2, 19 non-A2 blood-group living donors). Nineteen biopsies were performed for allograft dysfunction, and 127 protocol biopsies were performed 0, 3, 7, 14, 28 days and 3 and 12 months post transplant. Twenty-five of 32 patients have functioning allografts (mean 585 days post transplant). Nine of 32 (28%) developed clinical AMR. Biopsy revealed glomerular thrombi (78%), mesangiolysis (78%), peritubular capillary C4d staining (56%) and neutrophil infiltration (67%), interstitial hemorrhage and necrosis (56%) and arteriolar thrombi (33%). Subclinical AMR was diagnosed by protocol biopsies in four patients. Findings consisted of glomerular thrombi (100%), mesangiolysis (25%), and C4d staining (100%). In late protocol biopsies performed 214-420 days post transplant, mild mesangiolysis was seen in 2/17 (11.7%), and C4d immunostaining was detected in 3/12 (25%). AMR is characterized by glomerular thrombi, mesangiolysis, peritubular capillary neutrophil infiltration interstitial hemorrhage, necrosis, and C4d deposition. Glomerular thrombi appear early in AMR and may appear prior to graft dysfunction.
American Journal of Transplantation 02/2004; 4(1):101-7. DOI:10.1046/j.1600-6135.2003.00278.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With more patients reaching end-stage renal disease, the demand for living kidney donation is increasing rapidly. Many potential donors are now in older age groups. The effects of increasing BP with age and the measurement criteria for hypertension in this group are not well defined. A total of 238 potential donors between 18 and 72 yr of age were prospectively studied, with a comparison of "clinic" BP values measured in the outpatient clinic with an oscillometric recorder (Dinamap; Critikon), ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) findings, and standardized BP values determined by nurses using American Heart Association criteria. Renal function was evaluated on the basis of iothalamate clearance (GFR) and urinary protein and microalbumin excretion. Ninety-six percent of subjects were Caucasian. All subjects exhibited normal GFR and urinary protein excretion. Three age groups were defined (group I, </=35 yr, n = 64; group II, 36 to 49 yr, n = 109; group III, >/= 50 yr, n = 65). BP increased with age, as determined with all methods. Subjects >/= 50 yr of age exhibited the highest clinic readings (145 +/- 2/83 +/- 1 mmHg, compared with 129 +/- 2/76 +/- 1 mmHg for group I, P < 0.01). Awake ABPM and nurse-determined BP measurements were lower than clinic readings, including those for group III (131 +/- 2/80 +/- 1 mmHg, compared with 145 +/- 2/83 +/- 1 mmHg in the clinic, P < 0.001). With the use of systolic BP values of >140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP values of >90 mmHg, 36.7% of subjects were initially considered hypertensive; this proportion decreased to 11% overall with awake ABPM findings (>135/85 mmHg). Measurement variability (SD in ABPM) and the effects of misclassification were greatest for donors >/= 50 yr of age. Multivariate regression indicated that GFR of both donors and recipients decreased with age, but regression identified no independent effect of BP. Recipient outcomes for up to 2 yr were equally good for donor kidneys considered normotensive or hypertensive on the basis of clinic BP measurements. These data indicate that higher arterial BP with age can lead to misclassification of many older living kidney donors. Sixty-two subjects with excellent kidney function were misclassified as hypertensive with clinic oscillometric measurements alone. Detailed evaluations of ABPM findings, GFR, and urinary protein levels are warranted for Caucasian subjects with high clinic BP readings who are otherwise suitable potential donors.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 08/2003; 14(8):2159-67. · 9.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PVAN) is an increasingly prevalent cause of allograft dysfunction.
In 18 histologically proven cases of PVAN managed by reduced immunosuppression, monitoring of serum creatinine, and repeated biopsy, graft outcomes were correlated with clinical and histologic indices. Six months postdiagnosis the status of each graft was classified as poor (N = 7) or satisfactory (N = 11). Poor transplant status was defined as graft loss, increased severity of PVAN on repeat biopsy, or serum creatinine>3.0 mg/dL. Diagnosis resulted from either surveillance allograft biopsies (N = 8) or biopsies performed for increased serum creatinine (nonsurveillance, N = 10).
The surveillance biopsy group was more likely than the nonsurveillance group to have satisfactory graft status at 6 months (eight of eight vs. three of ten, P = 0.004) and had significantly lower serum creatinine at diagnosis, 3, and 6 months. Histologic scoring for chronic interstitial and tubular injury was lower in diagnostic surveillance biopsies compared to nonsurveillance biopsies (P = 0.01). Satisfactory transplant status was also associated with reduced or absent virus on repeat biopsy (P = 0.01). Poor transplant status was associated with a higher frequency of recipientneg/donorpos cytomegalovirus (CMV) serology (71% vs. 9%, P = 0.01).
Surveillance allograft biopsy provides an important means for earlier detection of PVAN and permits timely alterations to immunosuppression. Early diagnosis is associated with a lesser degree of interstitial fibrosis at diagnosis and lower baseline and subsequent serum creatinine.
Kidney International 08/2003; 64(2):665-73. DOI:10.1046/j.1523-1755.2003.00103.x · 8.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many patients who have an otherwise acceptable living-kidney donor do not undergo transplantation because of the presence of antibodies against the donor cells resulting in a positive crossmatch. In the current study, 14 patients with a positive cytotoxic crossmatch (titer </= 1 : 16) against their living donor underwent a regimen including pretransplant plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, rituximab and splenectomy. Eleven of 14 grafts (79%) are functioning well 30-600 days after transplantation. Two grafts were lost to accelerated vasculopathy and one was lost to death with good function. No hyperacute or cellular rejections occurred. Antibody-mediated rejection occurred in six patients [two clinical (14%) and four subclinical (29%)] and was reversible with plasmapheresis and steroids. Our results suggest that selected crossmatch-positive patients can be transplanted successfully with living-donor kidney allografts, using a protocol of pretransplant plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, rituximab and splenectomy. Longer follow-up will be needed, but the absence of anti-donor antibody and good early outcomes are encouraging.
American Journal of Transplantation 08/2003; 3(8):1017-23. DOI:10.1034/j.1600-6143.2003.00180.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the introduction of new immunosuppressive medicines, it has become possible to determine the extent to which nephrotoxic medicines contribute to CAN. The aim of this study is to compare the safety and efficacy of calcineurin inhibitor (CI) free immunosuppression in a prospective, randomized trial comparing sirolimus-mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)-prednisone to tacrolimus- MMF-prednisone.
Patients are randomized at the time of transplant to receive either tacrolimus (target level 12 to 15 ng/mL in the first month) or sirolimus (target level 12 to 18 ng/mL in the first month). All patients also receive MMF (750 mg bid) and prednisone tapered to 10 mg/d by 3 months and thymoglobulin induction (1.5 mg/kg/d on days 0, 1, 2, 4 and 6).
At this point we have 4-month follow-up in 85 patients. The acute rejection rate is 7.5% (3/40) in the tacrolimus group and 6.7% (3/45) in the sirolimus group. We have discontinued sirolimus in eight patients so far, with wound complications being the most common indication. Renal function appears to be better in the sirolimus group at 1 month after transplantation, but the difference is not statistically significant.
While longer follow-up is needed, these results demonstrate that total avoidance of CI can be achieved with extremely low acute cellular rejection rates using sirolimus-based immunosuppression in combination with thymoglobulin, MMF, and prednisone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given the scarcity of cadaveric organs, efforts are intensifying to increase the availability of living donors. The current study assessed the feasibility of using ABO-incompatible living-donor kidneys to expand the donor pool.
The authors performed 18 ABO-incompatible living-donor kidney transplants between May 1999 and April 2001. Ten patients received living-donor kidneys from A2 and eight patients received kidneys from non-A2 blood group donors. Immunosuppression consisted of Thymoglobulin antibody induction, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone. Eight non-A2 and two A2 kidney recipients also received a pretransplant conditioning regimen of four plasmapheresis treatments followed by intravenous immunoglobulin and splenectomy at the time of transplantation. Antidonor blood group antibody titer was measured at baseline, pretransplant, at 1- to 3-month and 1-year follow-up, and at the time of diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection.
No hyperacute rejection episodes occurred. One-year graft and patient survival rates in the 18 ABO-incompatible recipients were only slightly lower than those of 81 patients who received ABO-compatible kidney transplants during the same period (89% vs. 96% and 94% vs. 99%, respectively). Glomerular filtration rate and serum creatinine levels did not differ between the groups. Antibody-mediated rejection occurred in 28% of ABO-incompatible recipients, and was reversible with plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, and increasing immunosuppression in all patients except one.
ABO-incompatible living donor kidney transplants can achieve an acceptable 1-year graft survival rate using an immunosuppressive regimen consisting of Thymoglobulin induction, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone combined with pretransplant plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, and splenectomy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Subclinical rejection, defined as histologic acute rejection in the absence of graft dysfunction, has been suggested as a cause of chronic allograft rejection. In cyclosporine-treated patients, the incidence of subclinical rejection 3 months after transplant is reported to be approximately 30%. The intent of our study was to determine the incidence of subclinical rejection in tacrolimus-treated renal allograft recipients.
We prospectively studied the incidence of subclinical rejection on surveillance biopsies performed 3 months after transplantation in 114 patients transplanted between September 1, 1998 and November 30, 2000. All patients received tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone, and 56% received antibody induction.
Subclinical rejection was detected in 2.6% of patients (3/114, 95% confidence interval 0.5-7.5%). Borderline changes were detected in 11% (12/114). Subclinical rejections were treated with bolus methylprednisolone.
The incidence of subclinical rejection early after kidney transplantation is extremely low in tacrolimus-treated patients in whom early rejections are aggressively treated, suggesting that surveillance biopsies may not be necessary with this regimen.