BACKGROUND. The use of alemtuzumab for induction therapy in kidney transplantation has been increasing. Herein is a report of graft outcomes associated with alemtuzumab induction from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing database. METHODS. A total of 14,362 deceased donor kidney transplants from 2003 to 2004 received no induction (n=4,364), antithymocyte globulin (ATG; n=4,930), interleukin-2 receptor antagonists (IL-2RA; n=4,378), or alemtuzumab (n=690). Acute rejection within the initial hospitalization, 6 months, and 1 year; graft survival; and rejection-free survival were examined. Graft and rejection-free survival of alemtuzumab recipients maintained with tacrolimus (FK) or cyclosporine (CSA), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and steroids versus no calcineurin inhibitors (CNI), MMF, and steroids were compared. RESULTS. Alemtuzumab recipients had less acute rejection during the initial hospitalization (2.3%) than no induction, ATG, and IL-2RA (7.6%, 3.4%, and 4.8%, respectively; P<0.001). There was increased acute rejection at 6 months and 1 year with alemtuzumab (14.5% and 19.2%) compared to no induction (12.7% and 14.8%, P<0.001), ATG (8.2% and 10.2%, P<0.001), and IL-2RA (11.1% and 13.0%, P<0.001) with no difference in adjusted relative risk for graft loss. Alemtuzumab recipients receiving FK or CSA, MMF, and steroids had increased graft (FK/MMF/steroids, P<0.001, CSA/MMF/steroids, P=0.007) and rejection-free survival (FK/MMF/steroids, P<0.001, CSA/MMF/steroids, P=0.006) over 24 months compared to no CNI, MMF, and steroids. CONCLUSIONS. Despite reduced early rejection, acute rejection rates at 6 months and 1 year with alemtuzumab induction exceeded other forms of induction therapy. Maintenance with CNI-based immunosuppression may improve graft and rejection-free survival compared to CNI-free regimens among alemtuzumab recipients.
- Deceased donor
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