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Study shows steroid therapies following transplant can be eliminated
Date:10/21/2008

CINCINNATIA new study by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) shows that using modern immunosuppressive drugs eliminates the need for steroid therapy as early as seven days following a transplant surgery while still maintaining kidney function.

Steve Woodle, MD, chief of UC's transplant surgery division, principal investigator and designer of the study, says the elimination of a daily dose of steroids following transplantation minimizes chronic health conditions common to kidney transplant recipients.

The datafrom what is believed to be the longest-running, double-blinded study of its kind in the transplant fieldis published in the October issue of the Annals of Surgery.

"Steroids have long been the primary source of morbidity and complications following successful kidney transplantation," Woodle says. "This study demonstrates that elimination of even small, daily prednisone (pred-ne-zone) doses does not compromise results while minimizing weight gain, diabetes and bone complications."

Corticosteroids were the first anti-rejection drug used in transplant patients, dating back to the first transplant surgeries over 50 years ago.

Traditionally patients who have undergone organ transplantation have required life-long steroid treatments given in combination with other drugs that help suppress the body's immune system and allow the transplanted organ to function properly.

However, the steroid treatmentgiven as the oral drug, prednisonecan cause serious side effects including cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, bone weakness and cataracts.

To test the effectiveness of early elimination of steroids, researchers studied 397 patients from 25 U.S. kidney transplant centers for a five-year period following transplant. They administered low doses of prednisone to one group of transplant patients while the other group of patients received a plac
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Contact: Katie Pence
katie.pence@uc.edu
513-558-4561
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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