Maintaining calcineurin inhibition after the diagnosis of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder improves renal graft survival

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is an uncontrolled proliferation of transformed lymphocytes fostered by immunosuppression. In addition to chemotherapy, treatment of PTLD includes a reduction of maintenance immunosuppression. Patients with PTLD have an increased risk of graft loss, suggesting that reduced immunosuppression strategy needs to be optimized with regard to graft outcome. Here we retrospectively reviewed 101 cases involving PTLD to identify the risks associated with graft loss.

During a median follow-up of 70 months, 39 patients died and 21 lost their graft. Multivariate analysis found that an eGFR under 30ml/min per 1.73m2 at PTLD diagnosis, a biopsy-proven acute rejection episode following reduction of immunosuppression, and the absence of calcineurin inhibition in maintenance immunosuppression are independent risk factors for allograft loss. Neither the type of PTLD nor the chemotherapy regimen was predictive of allograft failure. Histological analysis of graft biopsies showed that maintaining calcineurin inhibition after the diagnosis of PTLD reduced the risk of developing denovo anti-HLA antibodies and humoral rejection. Remarkably, calcineurin inhibitor maintenance was neither associated with higher mortality nor with worse progression-free survival. Thus, maintaining calcineurin inhibition at a reduced dose after the diagnosis of PTLD seems safe and may improve renal graft outcome, possibly through better control of the recipient’s humoral immune response.


Authors: Jean-Emmanuel Serre, David Michonneau, Emmanuel Bachy, Laure-H?l?ne No?l, Val?rie Dubois, Caroline Suberbielle, Henri Kreis, Christophe Legendre, Marie-France Mamzer-Bruneel, Emmanuel Morelon and Olivier Thaunat

Reference: Kidney International; Published online, 26 June 2013; doi:10.1038/ki.2013.253

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