Mycophenolate mofetil vs. azathioprine is associated with decreased acute rejection, late acute rejection, and risk for cardiovascular death in renal transplant recipients with pre-transplant diabetes

Kristin M David, Jonathan A Morris, Bettina J Steffen, Kathy S Chi-Burris, Vincent P Gotz, Robert D Gordon
Clinical Transplantation 2005, 19 (2): 279-85
Outcomes specifically in mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)-treated diabetic renal transplant patients have not been previously reported. This study compared acute rejection (AR), late acute rejection (LAR), patient survival [and specifically death from cardiovascular (CV), infectious and malignant causes], incidence of post-transplant malignancies, and graft loss in MMF- or azathioprine (AZA)-treated renal transplant patients with pre-transplant diabetes. Outcomes were compared between MMF- (n = 14 144) and AZA- (n = 3001) treated diabetic patients using the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data on all U.S. adult renal transplants performed between 1995 and 2002. Statistical analyses included Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, Cox multivariable regression and chi-square tests. MMF patients had less AR compared with AZA-treated patients (23.5% vs. 28.3%, p < 0.001) and less risk for LAR over 4 yr [hazard ratio (HR): 0.64, 95% CI 0.44, 0.92; p = 0.02]. While time to any-cause death did not differ between the groups, MMF treatment was associated with a 20% decreased risk of CV death (HR: 0.80, 95% CI 0.67, 0.97; p = 0.020) compared with AZA treatment. MMF patients also had a lower incidence of malignancies than AZA patients (2.2% vs. 3.7%, p < 0.001). These results suggest treatment with MMF compared with treatment with AZA in diabetic transplant patients is associated with less AR, less risk of LAR, a decreased risk of CV death, and a lower incidence of malignancies.

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