Early steroid withdrawal in HIV-infected kidney transplant recipients: Utilization and outcomes

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Kidney transplant (KT) outcomes for HIV-infected (HIV+) persons are excellent, yet acute rejection (AR) is common and optimal immunosuppressive regimens remain unclear. Early steroid withdrawal (ESW) is associated with AR in other populations, but its utilization and impact are unknown in HIV+ KT. Using SRTR, we identified 1225 HIV+ KT recipients between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2017, without AR, graft failure, or mortality during KT admission, and compared those with ESW with those with steroid continuation (SC). We quantified associations between ESW and AR using multivariable logistic regression and interval-censored survival analysis, as well as with graft failure and mortality using Cox regression, adjusting for donor, recipient, and immunologic factors. ESW utilization was 20.4%, with more zero HLA mismatch (8% vs 4%), living donors (26% vs 20%), and lymphodepleting induction (64% vs 46%) compared to the SC group. ESW utilization varied widely across 129 centers, with less use at high- versus moderate-volume centers (6% vs 21%, P <.001). AR was more common with ESW by 1 year (18.4% vs 12.3%; aOR: 1.081.612.41, P =.04) and over the study period (aHR: 1.021.391.90, P =.03), without difference in death-censored graft failure (aHR 0.600.911.36, P =.33) or mortality (aHR: 0.751.151.77, P =.45). To reduce AR after HIV+ KT, tailoring of ESW utilization is reasonable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-726
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients (SRTR)
  • clinical research/practice
  • immunosuppressant – steroid
  • immunosuppression/immune modulation
  • immunosuppressive regimens – minimization/withdrawal
  • infection and infectious agents – viral: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • infectious disease
  • kidney transplantation/nephrology
  • rejection: acute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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