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Chung Hee Baek, Hyosang Kim, Hoon Yu, Won Seok Yang, Duck Jong Han, Su-Kil Park
(Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea)
Ann Transplant 2018; 23:704-712
BK nephropathy (BKN) affects graft function and increases the risk of graft failure. The reduction of immunosuppression is the main treatment for BKN. However, acute rejection may develop following immunosuppression reduction, and data regarding the risk factors of acute rejection during the post-reduction period are insufficient.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Of 758 patients who received a kidney transplantation (KT) between 2008 and 2011, 79 who underwent immunosuppression reduction as BKN treatment were enrolled. The risk factors of acute rejection after immunosuppression reduction were identified using multivariate logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: During the median follow-up period (75 months), acute rejection developed in 21.5% of study group patients and in 22.5% of KT recipients without BKN. The rejection group showed a trend of higher body mass index (24.13±3.92 vs. 22.40±3.31 kg/m², P=0.070) and lower tacrolimus levels than the no rejection group, although mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) doses were not lower in the rejection group. The rejection group showed worse graft survival than the no rejection group (P=0.001 by the log rank test). A greater number of patients in the rejection group exhibited reduced calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) level by >20% at 1 month after initial BKV detection (34.2% vs. 7.9%, P=0.008). Multivariate analysis indicated that the peak BKV PCR level (odds ratio [OR], 0.136; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.025–0.732; P=0.020), MMF discontinuation (vs. MMF reduction; OR, 0.112; 95% CI, 0.020-0.618; P=0.012) and CNI level reduction >20% (OR, 33.752; 95% CI, 4.263–267.251; P=0.001) were significantly associated with acute rejection.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute rejection after immunosuppression reduction for BKN showed worse allograft survival than the patients without acute rejection. In addition, a CNI dose reduction >20% at 1 month after the initial BKV detection can increase the risk of acute rejection.