Steroid withdrawal in liver transplant recipients

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Because of troublesome side effects associated with steroid use, many transplant centers have tried to withdraw steroids from stable, solid organ transplant recipients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability to wean liver transplant recipients off steroids, depending on both their primary immunosuppressive regimen and their primary disease state. This was a retrospective, single-center review of steroid weaning in adult orthotopic liver transplant recipients. Based on primary immunosuppression, patients could be weaned off steroids similarly if they were taking cyclosporine or tacrolimus (53.9% vs 61.4%). When triple immunosuppressive regimens were compared with dual regimens, a difference was found in ability to wean patients off steroids (52.4% vs 74.5%, P=.001). When steroid weaning was stratified for primary immunosuppression and primary disease state, patients with autoimmune-mediated diseases (autoimmune hepatitis, sclerosing cholangitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis) were less likely to be weaned if they were receiving cyclosporine-based immunosuppressants (36.8% vs 62.2%, P =.03). In conclusion, it appears that a large number of liver transplant recipients can safely be tapered off steroids.

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Progress in Transplantation





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This article was published in Progress in Transplantation, Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 217-223.

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Copyright © 2001 NATCO.

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