A prospective study of intentional stopping of steroids 6 months after transplantation was done with 29 pediatric renal transplant recipients with a mean age of 10.4±3.4 years. Immunosuppression consisted of cyclosporin and methylprednisolone. We stopped giving MP to 24 children: to twenty after six months, four after 11-20 months. “Crude graft survival“ was 97% during a mean follow-up of 36.7±15 months. The rejection rate was 48% during the first 6 months and 29% in the period after stopping MP. At present, 20/24 children (83%) have remained on CsA alone (18 patients) or CsA and azathioprine (2 patients) during a mean follow-up of 30±17 months. CsA nephrotoxicity occurred in 20.6% of patients, gum hypertrophy in 45%, hypertrichosis in 24%, and neurological symptoms in two patients (6.8%). Linear growth significantly improved after stopping MP: mean catch-up growth for prepuberal children 1.38 height standard deviation score (HSDS) and for pubertal children 1.6 HSDS. Bone age did not increase more rapidly than chronologic age. Weight/height index (W/ HI) also improved. There was also a significant reduction in the use of antihypertensive drugs. Calculated glomerular filtration rate was decreased, though not significantly, after stopping MP. Thus, when graft survival is good, stopping corticosteroids corrects the major handicap of children with irreversible uremia-the poor linear growth-and improves the W/HI and control of arterial pressure. Longer follow-up periods are necessary to exclude significant worsening of renal function and an increased incidence of chronic rejection after stopping the steroid.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|
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