Aiming at reducing cyclosporine toxicity, we investigated safety and efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as an immunosuppressive drug in pediatric kidney transplantation compared with cyclosporine (CsA), both in combination with corticosteroids.Methods.
One year after kidney transplantation, children on triple immunosuppression, having experienced no more than one, steroid-sensitive, acute rejection episode, were randomized to withdrawal of either CsA or MMF and were followed for 2 yr.Results.
In each group, two patients had an acute rejection episode during withdrawal. Treatment failure occurred in 3 of 21 MMF and 5 of 23 CsA patients. Final analysis was for 18 patients in either group. A larger than 10 mL/min 1.73 m2 decrease in glomerular filtration rate was observed in more patients on CsA than on MMF (73% vs. 29%, P=0.019). No differences in blood pressure or nightly decrease of blood pressure were noted. Hypercholesterolism improved in the MMF (−16%), but not the CsA group (+5%, P<0.05), over the first, but not over both study years. Differences in triglycerid levels between groups were not shown. At study end, MMF patients tended to have lower hemoglobin levels than patients on CsA. Two MMF patients experienced a first acute rejection episode during the second study year, resulting in chronic transplant glomerulopathy with graft loss in one and deterioration of kidney function in the other.Conclusion.
In pediatric kidney transplantation, maintenance immunosuppression with MMF together with corticosteroids has short-term benefits for kidney function and lipid pattern compared with CsA but is not without risk of complications.