The recommended standard immunosuppressive therapy for renal transplant recipients comprises an initial induction therapy mainly with an interleukin-2-receptor antibody (IL2-RA) and a triple maintenance therapy. With tacrolimus and mycophenolate acid it is unknown whether IL2-RA application affects the short- and long-term results. This question is addressed in the present analysis.
From July 2007 to June 2019 a total of 127 living donor kidney transplant recipients meeting the center-specific definition of immunologic low risk situation (first transplantation, HLA-mismatch ≤3, panel reactive antibody ≤10%) were identified. In 83 recipients with a first-degree relationship to the donor we omitted the IL2-RA induction (IL2-RA-). The remaining 44 recipients, mostly not first-degree relatives, served as controls (IL2-RA+). Biopsy-proven acute rejection and long-term patient and graft survival rates were compared.
Biopsy-proven acute rejection rates after 3 months were similar in both groups with 4.8% (IL2-RA-) vs 13.7% (IL2-RA+; P = .0937), including borderline rejection rates of 18.0% (IL2-RA-) vs 18.3% (IL2-RA+; P = 1.000), respectively. Ten-year long-term survival rates were comparable between the IL2-RA- and the IL2-RA+ group with 95.6% vs 93.5% (patient survival; P = .5465) and 92.1% vs 90.6% (death-censored graft survival; P = .8893).
For low-risk living donor kidney transplant recipients with first-degree relationship to the donor, it is safe to omit induction therapy with IL2-RA.

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