Washington, May 8 (ANI): Post-transplant patients, who have given up corticosteroid regimen, have fewer cardiovascular events than those on steroids, increasing their graft survival rates and reducing early mortality, University of Cincinnati (UC) transplantation researchers have found. orticosteroids are commonly given to post-transplant patients as part of an immunosuppressive regime to promote graft survival.
But the steroids also cause harmful cardiovascular side effects such as increased blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain, said Dr Rita Alloway.
The researchers have largely focused on reducing patient exposure to corticosteroids during post-transplantation treatment.
"Ten years ago, almost 80 percent of post-transplant kidney patients were discharged from the hospital on steroids. Now, according to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) reports, less than 20 percent are discharged from the hospital on steroids. We've effectively removed chronic steroids from the immunosuppressive regimen while maintaining similar graft survival outcomes," said Alloway.
In the study, led by Dr. Adele Rike Shields, researchers are now able to show patients removed from a steroid treatment have decreased cardiovascular events after transplant, in addition to their lowered side effects.
Shields evaluated acute graft rejection and graft loss in 630 kidney transplant patients withdrawn from corticosteroids.
She found the risk factors in the corticosteroid-withdrawn kidney transplant population are similar to those traditionally defined under conventional immunosuppression with steroids.
"With the summation of 10 years of work, we've been able to show that patients off corticosteroids have the same graft-function outcomes as patients on corticosteroids. In addition, the patients off corticosteroids benefit from fewer cardiovascular events," said Alloway.
The researchers are presenting the study at the American Transplant Congress (ATC), the annual meeting of the American Society of Transplantation. (ANI)