Steroid-free medication lowers rejection rate for kidney transplants

Alternate treatments avoid the side effects of long-term steroid use

Columbus, Ohio – December 13, 2006 -- Kidney transplant recipients are typically required to take daily steroids as part of their anti-rejection medications. However, long-term steroid use has significant side effects. A new study in Clinical Transplantation explored a combination of steroid-free medications that resulted in excellent patient outcomes and a very low rejection rate.

Long-term steroid use is associated with bone disease, obesity and slow growth rate in pediatric patients. Therefore, much effort has been made toward decreasing, withdrawing or completely avoiding the use of steroids in clinical organ transplantation.

A review of 301 patients that were given steroid-free medications at the Ohio State University Medical Center found that only 4.9 percent experienced rejection. In a second review, studying 502 patients who received typical, steroidal medications at the same institution, the rejection rate rose to 9.4 percent.

"The idea behind the research presented is to evaluate the feasibility of omitting the prescription of steroid medications to kidney transplant recipients,” says Amer Rajab, M.D., Ph. D. and lead author of the study. “We conclude that a significantly lower incidence of rejection can be achieved using steroid free maintenance."

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This study is published in Clinical Transplantation. Media who would like to receive a PDF of the study should contact: medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Amer Rajab MD, PhD, FACS is a transplant surgeon at the Ohio State University Medical Center. Dr. Rajab can be contacted for interview by e-mail at Amer.Rajab@OSUMC.edu.

Clinical Transplantation is a vital channel of communication, for all those involved in the care of people who require, or have had, organ or tissue transplants. The journal is published bi-monthly, with an international editorial board that includes specialists in all the major organ areas. It also covers the often controversial, social, ethical and psychological issues involved. For more information visit: www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/ctr.

Blackwell Publishing is the world’s leading society publisher, partnering with 665 medical, academic, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and has over 6,000 books in print. The company employs over 1,000 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Singapore, Denmark, Germany, and Japan. Blackwell’s mission as an expert publisher is to create long-term partnerships with our clients that enhance learning, disseminate research, and improve the quality of professional practice. For more information on Blackwell Publishing, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or www.blackwell-synergy.com.


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