Carvedilol treatment of kidney graft recipients with chronic rejection

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Carvedilol is an antihypertensive drug with properties that may be potentially beneficial for kidney graft recipients. The purpose of the study was to investigate if progression of an established chronic rejection may be attenuated or reversed by carvedilol.An open, single-centre, phase II, pilot study, with a 2-yr follow-up, was performed in 25 kidney graft recipients with chronic rejection or accelerated transplant atherosclerosis.Seventeen patients had stable graft function assessed by serum creatinine levels. Eight patients withdrew from the study due to lack of efficacy (increase in serum creatinine 174-477 μmol/L (46-191%) from the initial levels). However, these patients had higher serum creatinine levels and proteinuria already at the start of the study. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate, were stable in all study patients. Low density lipoprotein (LDL)/high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio decreased from 4.7 ± 1.9 at 1 month to 3.5 ± 1.2 at 18 months (p < 0.05), and MDA plasma levels decreased from 0.714 ± 0.119 to 0.493 ± 0.073 μmol/L after 3 months of carvedilol treatment (p < 0.05). No attenuation of progression of chronic graft rejection by carvedilol treatment was observed in the study. It is suggested that the process of chronic rejection could not be reversed by carvedilol because the patients included in the study already had severe morphological and functional changes of the graft.In conclusion, our study demonstrated that carvedilol provides a good control of blood pressure in renal transplanted patients. Carvedilol treatment had a beneficial effect on lipid pattern and reduced lipid oxidation, but there was no obvious effect on progression of chronic rejection.

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