We previously reported that a calcium channel blocker supplemented immunosuppression produced excellent patient and graft survival rates in cadaveric kidney transplantation. We report here the long term outcome of patients treated with nifedipine-supplemented triple immunosuppression as compared with those of historical controls who were treated similarly without nifedipine. Study subjects included 111 patients transplanted in 1990-1994, treated with nifedipine and triple immunosuppression and with functioning grafts for more than one year (Nifedipine group). The results of cyclosporine (CyA) dose, blood pressure (BP), serum creatinine (Cr), and actuarial graft survival rate (GSR) up to 5 years posttransplant in these patients were compared with those of 52 patients transplanted in 1985-1990, treated similarly without calcium channel blockers (Control group). Donor sources, gender ratio, age distribution, causes of end stage renal disease, incidence of hypertension prior to transplantation and incidence of rejection in the first year between the groups were comparable. Throughout the study period the Nifedipine group had significantly lower serum Cr (1.5 +/- 0.7 vs. 1.8 +/- 0.7 mg/dl) and higher GSR (93.8% vs. 88% at 5 years) than the Control group. BP was comparable despite higher CyA doses in the Nifedipine group (4.3 +/- 1.1 vs. 3.3 +/- 1.1 mg/kg/day). We conclude that nifedipine is beneficial in improving long-term graft function and survival in kidney transplant recipients by mitigating CyA associated renal injury.
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