The Renal-Sparing Efficacy of Basiliximab in Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation

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The purpose of this study is to find out whether basiliximab administration will improve postoperative renal function by delaying the start of tacrolimus and decreasing of dosage requirement for tacrolimus in adult living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Forty-five adult LDLT recipients were enrolled in the study. The induction group (n = 27) was given basiliximab 20 mg on days 0 and 4; tacrolimus administration was delayed until renal function improved. The control group (n = 18) did not receive basiliximab; tacrolimus was given on the first postoperative day. Trough levels of tacrolimus in the induction and control groups were aimed to be maintained at 5 - 10 ng/ml and 10-15 ng/ml during the first week after transplant, respectively. The median follow-up was 22 months (range 10-34 months). The preoperative conditions were poorer in the induction group (Child C, 56% vs. 33%,P= 0.01; UNOS 2a, 15% vs. 0%,P= 0.02). The intraoperative blood loss was also higher in the induction group than in the control group (median 2,180 ml vs. 495 ml,P< 0.01). The median delay in tacrolimus administration in the induction group was 36 hours (range 24-108 hours). Serum creatinine levels at second and third postoperative months were significantly lower in the induction group. The creatinine clearance rate in the induction group was higher at the third month posttransplant (median 72 vs. 57 ml/minute,P= 0.04). The incidence of renal insufficiency was significantly lower in the induction group at the third month posttransplant (26% vs. 67%,P< 0.01). Blood cholesterol level at the sixth month posttransplant was lower in the induction group (median 152 vs. 196 mg/dlP= 0.03). The incidences of acute cellular rejection, bacteremia, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection were similar in both groups. In conclusion, for pretransplant critical patients with more intraoperative blood loss, basiliximab induction could prevent early renal dysfunction by delaying the start of tacrolimus and reducing the dose requirement of tacrolimus without increasing graft rejection and infection. Furthermore, it also improved renal function as well as lowered cholesterol levels within 6 months after transplantation.

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