Corticosteroid avoidance in pediatric renal transplantation: can it be achieved?

Paediatric Drugs
Jayakumar R Vidhun, M M Sarwal

Abstract

Corticosteroids have been a cornerstone therapy in renal transplantation, which is the treatment modality of choice for adult and pediatric end-stage renal disease. Their use is associated with significant morbidity, notably cardiovascular, endocrine, and bone complications, body disfiguration, and almost universal growth retardation in children. While newer immunosuppressants have reduced the incidence of these adverse effects, they continue to pose significant post-transplant challenges. There are various strategies that can be used to avoid these adverse effects including the use of an alternative corticosteroid such as deflazacort, minimization of corticosteroid dosage, corticosteroid withdrawal after a period of early use, and more recently complete corticosteroid avoidance. Recent randomized studies have demonstrated significant improvement in growth parameters, lipid profile, and in the amount of bone loss in patients treated with deflazacort, an oxazoline analog of prednisone, compared with methylprednisone.Corticosteroid minimization has been associated with an increased rate of acute rejection. While augmentation with newer immunosuppressants has helped reduce the incidence of acute rejection, significant improvements...Continue Reading

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