In a recent clinical trial in kidney transplant recipients, induction with alemtuzumab and rabbit-antithymocyte globulin (r-ATG) was equally effective in preventing rejection during the first post-transplant year; however, this study did not include protocol biopsies.Methods:
The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of alemtuzumab induction on rejection and subclinical inflammation during the first post-transplant year compared with a historic control group receiving induction with r-ATG. All patients received tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF).Results:
There were 361 in the alemtuzumab group and 478 in the r-ATG groups. Rejection (excluding Banff borderline), during the first year, occurred in 14% of the alemtuzumab group and 9% of the r-ATG group (p = 0.03). Estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (chronic kidney disease (CKD)-EPI formula) at one yr and graft survival at three yr were similar. On the protocol biopsies, interstitial inflammation (Banff i scores) and tubulitis (Banff t scores) were more likely in the r-ATG group at one month, but at four and 12 months, both inflammation and tubulitis were more likely in the alemtuzumab group.Conclusions:
We conclude that alemtuzumab induction is associated with delayed inflammation at four and 12 months, but this inflammation did not appear to negatively impact the GFR or graft survival.