Several centers have examined the implementation of immunosuppression protocols that minimize steroid exposure. This study retrospectively examined cardiovascular risk factors in 70 pediatric renal transplant recipients on steroid avoidance-based immunosuppression over three yr compared to matched pediatric patients maintained on chronic corticosteroids. Although higher rates of acute rejection were noted in the steroid-avoidant group (22% vs. 16%, p = 0.034), graft function was similar (67 + 10 mL/min/1.73 m2 vs. 72 + 12 mL/min/1.73 m2) (p = 0.053). The steroid-avoidant group demonstrated improved growth (height z-score -0.41 + 5.9 vs. -1.1 + 0.041) with a decrease in the prevalence of obesity (24% vs. 34%, p = 0.021). Indexed systolic blood pressures were lower beginning at six months post-transplant in the steroid-avoidant group (1.21 + 0.15 vs. 1.51 + 0.22, p = 0.020). Indexed diastolic blood pressures were lower beginning at 12 months post-transplant (0.91 + 0.11 vs. 1.12 + 0.18, p = 0.037). Differences in total serum cholesterol values and serum glucose values were not statistically significant. Beginning at 12 months, a statistically significant decrease in left ventricular mass index (39.2 + 11.3 vs. 49.4 + 14.5, p = 0.014) was noted in patients on steroid-avoidant immunosuppression, which corresponded to a significant decrease in the prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy in these patients by two yr post-transplant (35% vs. 48%, p = 0.012). Systolic blood pressure and BMI were independent predictors of left ventricular hypertrophy.
- left ventricular hypertrophy
- renal transplantation
- steroid-free immunosuppression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health