Interleukin-2 Receptor Antibody Reduces Rejection Rates and Graft Loss in Live-Donor Kidney Transplant Recipients

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The use of interleukin-2 receptor antibody (IL-2Ra) induction has been associated with reduced rejection rates in both live and deceased donor kidney transplantation. However, the longer term effect of IL-2Ra induction on estimated glomerular filtration rates and graft and patient survival remains unclear.


Using Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry, live donor renal transplant recipients in Australia between 2001 and 2005 were studied (n=1106). Multiple organ graft recipients and those receiving T-cell depletive induction therapy or steroid- or calcineurin-free inhibitor regimens were excluded. Outcomes analyzed included the presence of rejection at 6 months, estimated glomerular filtration rate at 1 and 3 years, 5 years graft and patient survival.


A total of 41.7% of live donor renal transplant recipients received IL-2Ra induction. Recipients of IL-2Ra experienced a 51% reduction in the incidence of acute rejection (odds ratio 0.49, 95%CI 0.36–0.67; P<0.001). In addition, the use of IL-2Ra was associated with reduced overall graft loss (hazard ratio 0.58, 95%CI 0.35–0.96; P=0.03) and higher mean estimated glomerular filtration rate at 1 year but not 3 years. There was no association between IL-2Ra induction and death-censored graft loss or death with functioning graft.


This registry analysis demonstrates that IL-2Ra induction in live donor kidney transplantation is associated with substantial clinical benefits of reduced risk of acute rejection, improved short-term graft function, and reduced graft loss.

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