Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Higher incidence of rejection following early steroid withdrawal


A new study on early steroid withdrawal following liver transplantation found that there was a higher incidence of rejection and a lower incidence of glucose intolerance necessitating treatment for diabetes. It was the first double-blind placebo-controlled study to examine the effects of early steroid elimination.

The results of this study appear in the December 2004 issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). The journal is published on behalf of the societies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and is available online via Wiley InterScience.

The normal course of treatment after liver transplantation includes calcineurin inhibitors (a class of immunosuppressants) and steroids to minimize rejection and improve survival rates, but the long-term complications of these drugs can be fatal. Steroid use in particular can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, which increase the risk of heart disease, and can lead to death. Several previous studies have reported that early withdrawal from steroids reduced the incidence of these side effects, but that rejection increased, although it could be controlled with steroid pulse therapy (in which high doses of steroids are administered intravenously for a short period of time). The current multicenter study was the first prospective double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to compare early steroid withdrawal with continued use.

Led by Georges-Philippe Pageaux, of the Centre Hospitalier University St.-Eloi in Montpellier, France, the study examined 174 patients in 15 French liver transplantation centers over a 14-month period from December 1999 to August 2001. The patients were randomly divided into two groups seven days following transplant: 90 of them continued to receive steroids for six months, while 84 received a placebo starting at day 14 (following 7 days of tapering from steroids). At the end of six months, 22 patients in the steroid group (24.4 percent) and 32 patients in the placebo group (38.1 percent) experienced acute rejection. Although there was no statistical difference in the two groups for high cholesterol and hypertension, 22.2 percent of patients in the steroid group developed diabetes compared with 14.3 percent of placebo patients. At the end of 12 months, the incidence of acute rejection was 25.6 percent in the steroid group versus 39.3 percent in the placebo group, but there no longer a difference in diabetes between the two groups.

"Although the incidence of acute rejection in the placebo group was increased, it was easily controlled in most of the cases and did not affect long-term graft histology or survival," the authors note, adding that the increase may ultimately be acceptable if steroids could be eliminated. However, the main goal of steroid elimination is to reduce metabolic complications and this study showed no difference in cholesterol or hypertension, with a trend toward a decreased incidence of diabetes in the placebo group.

The authors conclude: "Indeed, while there are many arguments in favor of corticosteroid withdrawal beyond 3 months posttransplantation, in terms of safety and efficacy, our study demonstrates that earlier withdrawal at day 14 is not completely safe in terms of rejection, but seems efficient in terms of improvement of glucose tolerability," which could decrease long-term mortality due to cardiovascular disease.

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>