Background. According to a pooled analysis of three randomized clinical studies concerning the prevention of acute rejection in cadaveric renal transplantation, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) proved superior to azathioprine or placebo in conjunction with cyclosporine (CsA) and steroids. MMF-treated patients showed reduced incidence and severity of acute rejection, similar graft survival, and better graft function over 12 months. However, the multicenter trials did not include the Asian recipients of living donor kidneys. Methods. To assess the efficacy of MMF as the third component of a triple therapy in addition to CsA-Neoral and steroids in living donor renal transplantation recipients in Asians, a total of 100 recipients were randomized to receive CsA-Neoral and steroids (control group, n = 50), or MMF-based triple therapy (1.0 g of MMF twice daily from postoperative day 2, MMF group, n = 50). The dosing plan for Neoral and steroids was essentially same between groups. During 12 months of follow-up, we compared the incidence of acute rejection, adverse events such as infections, and 12-month actual graft and patient survival. Results. The graft and patient survival at 1 year was excellent in both groups: 96/98% in the control group and 98/100% in the MMF group, respectively. MMF significantly reduced the proportion of patients with at least one episode of acute rejection (34% in the control group vs. 14% in the MMF group), cumulative incidence of acute rejection episodes (46% vs. 16%), and requirement of antilymphocyte antibody (21.7% vs. 12.5%). In the MMF group, viral infection such as herpes zoster or chicken pox was more prevalent than in the control group. Conclusions. Like cadaveric renal transplantation, this open clinical trial showed MMF to be effective in reducing the incidence and severity of acute rejection if used in conjugation with Neoral and steroids after living donor renal transplantation in Asian ethnicity.
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