Delayed graft function remains a major problem in cadaveric renal allograft transplantation. We have used 2 different immunosuppressive induction regimens in patients with delayed graft function. The first regimen, cadaveric renal allograft transplantation. We have used 2 different immunosuppressive induction regimens in patients with delayed graft function. The first regimen, used in 40 patients from January 1985 to December 1986, consisted of CsA (8 mg/kg/day, orally within 48 hr of cadaveric renal transplantation regardless of graft function), azathioprine (1.5-2.5 mg/kg/day), and steroids (methylprednisolone 375 mg on day 0, then prednisone tapered to 30 mg/day by day 10 with slow tapering to 7.5—10 mg/day over the first 6 months after transplantation). A second regimen, used from January 1987 to March 1989, employed the same doses of azathioprine and steroids; however, OKT3 (5 mg i.v./day for 7—21 days) was administered in the 34 patients who had delayed graft function. CsA was withheld until ATN resolved. The use of OKT3 as induction immunosuppression in patients with ATN led to a significant increase in 1-year graft survival (80% vs. 55%) while markedly decreasing the incidence of rejection episodes (44% vs. 82%) and the duration of nonfunction (9.4 vs. 14.9 days). There were 5 CMV infections in patients treated with OKT3. Antibodies to OKT3 developed in only 1 of 34 patients treated with OKT3. Five of 7 patients who received a second course of OKT3 successfully reversed the rejection episode. Patient survival (89%) was the same in the 2 groups. The benefit of OKT3 on long-term graft survival appears to stem from elimination of early rejection episodes that may be difficult to diagnose in a poorly functioning allograft. We conclude that OKT3 induction provides superior results over CsA induction at doses given in renal allograft recipients with delayed graft function without a significant increase in morbidity or mortality and permits the reuse of OKT3 for treatment of rejection in most cases.
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