Induction Immunosuppression and Clinical Outcomes in Kidney Transplant Recipients Infected With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

L. M. Kucirka, C. M. Durand, S. Bae, R. K. Avery, J. E. Locke, B. J. Orandi, M. McAdams-DeMarco, M. E. Grams, D. L. Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is an increased risk of acute rejection (AR) in human immunodeficiency virus–positive (HIV+) kidney transplant (KT) recipients. Induction immunosuppression is standard of care for those at high risk of AR; however, use in HIV+ patients is controversial, given fears of increased infection rates. We sought to compare clinical outcomes between HIV+ KT recipients who were treated with (i) anti–thymocyte globulin (ATG), (ii) IL-2 receptor blocker, and (iii) no induction. We studied 830 HIV+ KT recipients between 2000 and 2014, as captured in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, and compared rates of delayed graft function (DGF), AR, graft loss and death. Infections and hospitalizations were ascertained by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes in a subset of 308 patients with Medicare. Compared with no induction, neither induction agent was associated with an increased risk of infection (weighted hazard ratio [wHR] 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55–1.18). HIV+ recipients who received induction spent fewer days in the hospital (weighted relative risk [wRR] 0.70, 95% CI 0.52–0.95), had lower rates of DGF (wRR 0.66, 95% CI 0.51–0.84), less graft loss (wHR 0.47, 95% CI 0.24–0.89) and a trend toward lower mortality (wHR 0.60, 95% CI 0.24–1.28). Those who received induction with ATG had lower rates of AR (wRR 0.59, 95% CI 0.35–0.99). Induction in HIV+ KT recipients was not associated with increased infections; in fact, those receiving ATG, the most potent agent, had the lowest rates. In light of the high risk of AR in this population, induction therapy should be strongly considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2368-2376
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • clinical research/practice
  • immunosuppressive regimens
  • induction
  • infection and infectious agents
  • infectious disease
  • viral: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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