PURPOSE: The increased tolerability of enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium (EC-MPS), compared to mycophenolate mofetil, among kidney transplant recipients has the potential to facilitate cyclosporine (CsA) minimization. Therefore, a prospective trial to determine the optimum EC-MPS dose in CsA-based immunosuppression regimens is necessary.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comparative, parallel, randomized, open-label study was performed for 140 patients from four centers to compare the efficacy and tolerability of low dose CsA with standard dose EC-MPS (the investigational group) versus standard dose CsA with low dose EC-MPS (the control group) for six months in de novo kidney transplant recipients. Graft function, the incidence of efficacy failure [biopsy-confirmed acute rejection (BCAR), death, graft loss, loss to follow-up], and adverse events were compared.
RESULTS: The mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of the investigational group at six months post-transplantation was non-inferior to that of the control group (confidence interval between 57.3 mL/min/1.73m(2) and 67.4 mL/min/1.73 m(2), p<0.001). One graft loss was reported in the control group, and no patient deaths were reported in either group. The incidence of BCAR of the investigational group was 8.7%, compared to 18.8% in the control group (p=0.137), during the study period. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) in the incidence of discontinuations and serious adverse events (SAE) between the groups.
CONCLUSION: CsA minimization using a standard dose of EC-MPS kept the incidence of acute rejection and additional risks as low as conventional immunosuppression and provided therapeutic equivalence in terms of renal graft function and safety issues.
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