Evaluation of Filgrastim Therapy in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Context:Neutropenia is associated with a high risk of serious infections in kidney transplant recipients. There are no sufficient studies of using granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, such as filgrastim, in renal transplant recipients to establish a clear, specified role of this off-label indication. Using filgrastim in these patients may increase the risk of rejection by overstimulating the immune system.Objective:To evaluate the use of filgrastim in adult kidney transplant recipients presenting with neutropenia.Patients and Design:Data were obtained from a medication utilization report of filgrastim in kidney transplant recipients at our center from September 2012 to August 2015.Main Outcome Measure(s) and Results:There were 28 cases of neutropenia that were treated with a range of 1 to 5 doses of filgrastim 300 or 480 μg, with a mean of 1.79 doses. The mean total dose of filgrastim administered per episode of neutropenia was 632 μg (8.6 μg/kg). Overall, 87.5% of the cases achieved a white blood cell count of at least 3 × 109 cells/L within 7 days of hospital discharge. There were no cases of infection or acute rejection following treatment.Conclusions:The use of filgrastim in kidney transplant recipients demonstrated success in reversing neutropenia. Short courses of therapy were required with minimal adverse events. Patients who required readmission were successfully re-treated. Additional studies are required to determine the most effective dose and duration of treatment.

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