Steroid withdrawal after pediatric liver transplantation: a long-term follow-up study in 109 recipients.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Steroids remain an important component of maintenance immunosuppression in liver transplantation, but when administered for a long period they may be associated with multiple severe side effects, particularly growth suppression in children. This study was conducted to clarify the balance of potential benefits and risks of steroid withdrawal (SW) in pediatric liver transplantation. METHODS: Between April 1984 and July 2000, 109 pediatric recipients with SW and at least 12 months of follow-up after SW were retrospectively reviewed and divided into three groups according to the type of anticalcineurin at SW: group I (cyclosporine, n=25), group II (cyclosporine microemulsion, n=25), and group III (tacrolimus, n=59). Steroids were withdrawn after a three-step reduction of steroid dosage (taper down to the substitution dose of 0.25 mg/kg/day, switch to alternate-day therapy, progressive SW). Patients were regularly followed up for clinical and biochemical monitoring. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 8.1 (range, 1.6-16.8) years. After SW, neither chronic rejection nor graft nor patient loss occurred. A trend toward lower anticalcineurin trough levels was observed in all groups. Glomerular filtration rate and fasting cholesterol were significantly better in group III (P
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransplantation
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2003

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