Our aim was to determine the impact of converting from tacrolimus to belatacept in patients with stable low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) early after kidney transplant.Methods
This is a single-center retrospective case control study. During this study period, we had a clinical protocol to convert patients to belatacept if they had a stable but low GFR and they were at least 1-month posttransplant. Eligible patients had stable but low eGFR usually < 40 mL/min per 1.73 m2. We used direct matching to select 1 control case for each patient converted to belatacept. The primary outcome was the change in eGFR from the point of belatacept conversion to 4 months postconversion (delta eGFR).Results
There were 30 patients in the conversion group and 30 in a direct matched control group. The median preconversion eGFR for the entire cohort was 23.0 mL/min per 1.73 m2 with an interquartile range of 15.7 to 31.4. The delta eGFR was 11.0 (12.9) mL/min per 1.73 m2 in belatacept group and 4.8 (10.5) mL/min per 1.73 m2 in the control group (P = 0.045). Acute rejection postconversion occurred in 5 (16.7%) in the conversion group and none of the control group (P = 0.052). Although the delta improvement in eGFR was about 6 mL/min better in the Belatacept group, there was no difference in the slope of inverse creatinine during the 12-month period after conversion between the groups.Conclusions
We conclude that early belatacept conversion in kidney transplant recipients with stable low eGFR may only result in a modest increase in GFR.