Steroid-free tacrolimus monotherapy after pretransplantation thymoglobulin or Campath and laparoscopy in living donor renal transplantation.
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Living donor renal transplantation was performed under a regimen of recipient pretreatment and low-dose postoperative immunosuppression with subsequent weaning. From October 9, 2002, to December 31, 2004, 196 consecutive, unselected laparoscopic live donor nephrectomies resulting in 196 living donor renal transplantations were performed. Recipients were pretreated with rabbit antithymocyte globulin (thymoglobulin; 24 patients or [12%]) or Campath 1H (alemtuzumab; 166 patients [85%]), or were not in protocol (6 patients [3%]), and were given postoperative steroid-free low-dose tacrolimus immunosuppressive monotherapy with subsequent weaning. There was no donor mortality. Major and minor donor morbidities were 2.6% and 4.2%, respectively. Laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy recipient outcomes with a mean follow-up of 401 days included (1) recipient and graft survival of 99.0% and 97.4%, respectively; (2) no ureteral stenosis; (3) 0.5% delayed graft function, from recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclinosis; and (4) no vascular thrombosis. The incidence of acute rejection at 30, 90, and 401 days was 1.5%, 3.8%, and 11.2% (all 196 recipients), 0%, 25%, and 29.2% (thymoglobulin recipients), and 1.8%, 3.9%, and 8.4% (Campath 1H recipients), respectively. Sixty-six patients (33.7%) are receiving spaced-dose immunosuppressive monotherapy. The mean creatinine concentration in all recipients was 1.5 +/- 1.1 mg/dL. There were no instances of cytomegalovirus tissue invasive disease or posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease. The incidence of new-onset posttransplantation insulin-dependent diabetes was 0.5%. At current follow-up, the use of Campath 1H rather than thymoglobulin for pretreatment seems to have significantly improved the efficacy of our regimen.