Outcomes associated with steroid avoidance and alemtuzumab among kidney transplant recipients

Oscar K. Serrano, Patricia Friedmann, Sayeeda Ahsanuddin, Carlos Millan, Almog Ben-Yaacov, Liise K. Kayler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Alemtuzumab is a humanized anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody used as induction in kidney transplantation (KTX) since 2003. Few studies have evaluated long-term outcomes of this agent or changes in outcomes over time. Design, setting, participants, & measurements A retrospective cohort study was performed examining United States registry data from 2003 to 2014 of primary KTX recipients receiving induction with alemtuzumab (AZ; n=5521) or antithymocyte globulin (ATG; n=8504) and maintenance immunosuppression with tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil and early withdrawal of steroids. The primary outcome was overall death-censored graft survival (DCGS), and secondary outcomes were overall patient survival and 1-year acute rejection. Multivariate models were fit with donor, recipient, and transplant covariates. Because poorer outcomes with AZ may occur from a learning curve impact with the use of a new medication, transplant year was categorized into three time periods to evaluate outcomes over time (2003-2005, 2006-2008, ≥2009), and an interaction term of induction type with transplant year category was included in all models to test for era impacts. Results On multivariate analysis of DCGS there was a significant interaction between AZ and era (P<0.001). AZ was significantly associated with inferior DCGS in the earliest 2003-2005 era (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.21; 95%confidence interval [95%CI], 1.72 to 2.84) but not in themiddle 2006-2008 era (aHR, 1.14; 95%CI, 0.96 to 1.36) or the most recent 2009-2014 era (aHR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.29) compared with ATG. Risk-adjusted patient survival (aHR, 1.32; 95%CI, 1.08 to 1.61; aHR, 1.26; 95%CI, 1.09 to 1.46; and aHR, 1.10; 95%CI, 0.93 to 1.29 by era, respectively) and acute rejection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.17; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.42; aOR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.07; aOR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81 to 0.98 by era, respectively) with AZ was comparable with ATG in the most recent era; however, there was no significant interaction with time (P=0.13 and P=0.06, respectively). Conclusions Current alemtuzumab utilization is associatedwith comparable graft and patient survival and acute rejection compared with ATG. Graft survival with alemtuzumab has improved over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2030-2038
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 6 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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