In a prospective randomized double-blind placebocontrolled trial, the effect of rh-SOD, given in a dose of 200 mg intravenously during surgery to cyclosporine-treated recipients of cadaveric renal allografts, on both acute and chronic rejection events as well as patient and graft survival was investigated by analyzing the patients' charts retrospectively.
The results obtained show that rh-SOD exerts a beneficial effect on acute rejection events as indicated by a significant reduction of (1) first acute rejection episodes from 33.3% in controls to 18.5%, as well as (2) early irreversible acute rejection from 12.5% in controls to 3.7%.
With regard to long-term results, there was a significant improvement of the actual 4-year graft survival rate in rh-SOD-treated patients to 74% (with a projected half-life of 15 years) compared with 52% in controls (with an extrapolated half-life of 5 years).
The beneficial effect of rh-SOD observed in this trial is not fully understood, although one can assume that the effect is related to its antioxidant action on ischemia/reperfusion injury of the renal allograft, thereby potentially reducing the immunogenicity of the graft. In addition and in accordance with the “response-to-injury hypothesis” in the pathogenesis of general atherosclerosis, rh-SOD has the potential to mitigate free radical-mediated reperfusion injury-induced acute endothelial cell damage that potentially may contribute to the process of chronic obliterative rejection arteriosclerosis.