Induction therapies in live donor kidney transplantation on tacrolimus and mycophenolate with or without steroid maintenance

Bekir Tanriover*, Song Zhang, Malcolm MacConmara, Ang Gao, Burhaneddin Sandikci, Mehmet U.S. Ayvaci, Mutlu Mete, Demetra Tsapepas, Nilum Rajora, Prince Mohan, Ronak Lakhia, Christopher Y. Lu, Miguel Vazquez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: Induction therapy with IL-2 receptor antagonist (IL2-RA) is recommended as a first line agent in living donor renal transplantation (LRT). However, use of IL2-RA remains controversial in LRT with tacrolimus (TAC)/mycophenolic acid (MPA) with or without steroids. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network registry was studied for patients receiving LRT from 2000 to 2012 maintained on TAC/MPA at discharge (n=36,153) to compare effectiveness of IL2-RA to other induction options. The cohort was initially divided into two groups based on use of maintenance steroid at time of hospital discharge: steroid (n=25,996) versus no-steroid (n=10,157). Each group was further stratified into three categories according to commonly used antibody induction approach: IL2-RA, rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (r-ATG), and no-induction in the steroid group versus IL2-RA, r-ATG and alemtuzumab in the no-steroid group. The main outcomes were the risk of acute rejection at 1 year and overall allograft failure (graft failure or death) post-transplantation through the end of follow-up. Propensity score-weighted regression analysis was used to minimize selection bias due to non-random assignment of induction therapies. Results: Multivariable logistic and Cox analysis adjusted for propensity score showed that outcomes in the steroid group were similar between no-induction (odds ratio [OR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.86 to 1.08 for acute rejection; and hazard ratio [HR], 0.99; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.08 for overall allograft failure) and IL2-RA categories. In the no-steroid group, odds of acute rejection with r-ATG (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.90) and alemtuzumab (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.67) were lower; however, overall allograft failure risk was higher with alemtuzumab (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.56) but not with r-ATG (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.45), compared with IL2-RA induction. Conclusions: Compared with no-induction therapy, IL2-RA induction was not associated with better outcomes when TAC/MPA/steroids were used in LRT recipients. r-ATG appears to be an acceptable and possibly the preferred induction alternative for IL2-RA in steroid-avoidance protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1049
Number of pages9
JournalClinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesP30DK079328


    • Acute allograft rejection
    • Immunosuppression
    • Kidney transplantation


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