Evaluation of Filgrastim Therapy in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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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.


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.


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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