CINCINNATIPost-transplant patients who have been removed from a corticosteroid regimen have fewer cardiovascular events than those patients on steroids, increasing their graft survival rates and reducing early mortality, according to study results being presented this week by University of Cincinnati (UC) transplantation researchers.
Researchers with the division of transplantation and department of internal medicine are presenting the work at the American Transplant Congress (ATC), the annual meeting of the American Society of Transplantation, held May 1-5 in San Diego.
Corticosteroids are commonly given to post-transplant patients as part of an immunosuppressive regime to promote graft survival. But the steroids also cause harmful cardiovascular side effects such as increased blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain, says Rita Alloway, PharmD, UC research professor of internal medicine. UC's transplant clinical research team has largely focused on reducing patient exposure to corticosteroids during post-transplantation treatment.
"Ten years ago, almost 80 percent of post-transplant kidney patients were discharged from the hospital on steroids," she says. "Now, according to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) reports, less than 20 percent are discharged from the hospital on steroids. We've effectively removed chronic steroids from the immunosuppressive regimen while maintaining similar graft survival outcomes."
In work led by UC research assistant professor of surgery Adele Rike Shields, PharmD, researchers are now able to show patients removed from a steroid treatment have decreased cardiovascular events after transplant, in addition to their lowered side effects.
Shields evaluated acute graft rejection and graft loss in 630 kidney transplant patients withdrawn from corticosteroids. She found the risk factors in the corticosteroid-withdrawn kidney transplant population are similar to those traditionally defi
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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center