A comparison of tacrolimus (FK506) and cyclosporine for immunosuppression after cadaveric renal transplantation. FK506 Kidney Transplant Study Group

J D PirschR S Filo


Tacrolimus (FK506), a macrolide molecule that potently inhibits the expression of interleukin 2 by T lymphocytes, represents a potential major advance in the management of rejection following solid-organ transplantation. This randomized, open-label study compared the efficacy and safety of tacrolimus-based versus cyclosporine-based immunosuppression in patients receiving cadaveric kidney transplants. A total of 412 patients were randomized to tacrolimus (n=205) or cyclosporine (n=207) after cadaveric renal transplantation and were followed for 1 year for patient and graft survival and the incidence of acute rejection. One-year patient survival rates were 95.6% for tacrolimus and 96.6% for cyclosporine (P=0.576). Corresponding 1-year graft survival rates were 91.2% and 87.9% (P=0.289). There was a significant reduction in the incidence of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection in the tacrolimus group (30.7%) compared with the cyclosporine group (46.4%, P=0.001), which was confirmed by blinded review, and in the use of antilymphocyte therapy for rejection (10.7% and 25.1%, respectively; P<0.001). Impaired renal function, gastrointestinal disorders, and neurological complications were commonly reported in both treatment groups, but trem...Continue Reading


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