Background: Cyclosporine (CsA) is frequently initiated as induction therapy in patients undergoing orthotopic heart transplantation, but our experience has identified a significant rate of post-operative renal dysfunction. We therefore devised a renal-sparing cyclosporine-free induction regimen consisting of the early administration basiliximab, an interleukin-2 receptor monoclonal antibody, followed by the late initiation of cyclosporine on post-operative Day 4. Methods: Between September 1998 and December 1999, we treated 25 patients at risk for post-operative renal dysfunction (high-risk basiliximab group) with the new induction regimen and another 33 patients not at risk (low-risk CsA group) for renal dysfunction with our standard cyclosporine protocol. We identified a historical control group (1996 through 1998) of 32 patients at risk for renal dysfunction (high-risk CsA group) who had received our standard cyclosporine protocol. Results: The increase in serum creatinine levels after transplantation was less in the high-risk basiliximab group (-0.1 ± 0.7) than in the high-risk CsA group (0.5 ± 1.0, p < 0.02) and comparable to the low-risk CsA group (0.03 ± 0.6). The basiliximab protocol did not increase rejection; the percentage of rejection episodes was high-risk basiliximab, 0; high-risk CsA, 13; and low-risk CsA, 3 (p = .13). Conclusion: Basiliximab induction therapy allows delayed initiation of cyclosporine after cardiac transplantation without an increase in rejection and reduces the risk of post-operative renal dysfunction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine