Primary biliary cirrhosis associated with membranous glomerulonephritis.
A 33-year-old woman was admitted to our department for evaluation of liver dysfunction and proteinuria. A liver biopsy specimen showed ductular proliferation and moderate portal fibrosis indicating stage II primary biliary cirrhosis. A renal biopsy specimen showed mild to moderate mesangial cell proliferation without crescent formation or interstitial nephritis. Immunofluorescent staining revealed deposition of immunoglobulin G (IgG), third component of complement (C3), and Clq on glomerular basement membranes. The findings indicated stage I membranous glomerulonephritis. Administration of ursodesoxycholic acid together with prednisolone, azathioprine, and dipyridamole decreased proteinuria and improved cholestatic liver dysfunction. (+info)
Reduced kidney transplant rejection rate and pharmacoeconomic advantage of mycophenolate mofetil.
BACKGROUND: Several multinational controlled clinical trials have shown that triple therapy immunosuppressive regimens which include mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), cyclosporin A (CSA) and steroids (S) are superior compared with conventional regimens which include azathioprine (AZA), CSA and S, mainly because MMF reduces the rate of acute rejection episodes in the first 6 months after kidney transplantation. Post-marketing studies are useful to evaluate the general applicability and costs of MMF-based immunosuppressive regimens. METHODS: Based on the excellent results of the published controlled clinical trials, we have changed the standard triple therapy immunosuppressive protocol (AZA+CSA+S) to an MMF-based regimen (MMF+CSA+S) at our centre. To analyse the impact of this change in regimen, we have monitored 6-month patient and graft survival, rejection rate, serum creatinine and CSA levels, as well as the costs of the immunosuppressive and anti-rejection treatments, in 40 consecutive renal transplant recipients (MMF group) and have compared the data with 40 consecutive patients transplanted immediately prior to the change in regimen (AZA group). RESULTS: Recipient and donor characteristics were similar in the AZA and MMF groups. Patient survival (37/40; 92.5% in the AZA group vs 38/40; 95% in the MMF group), graft survival (36/40 vs 36/40; both 90%) and serum creatinine (137+/-56 vs 139+/-44 micromol/l) after 6 months were not significantly different. However, the rate of acute rejection episodes (defined as a rise in creatinine without other obvious cause and treated at least with pulse steroids) was significantly reduced with MMF from 60 to 20% (P=0.0005). The resulting cost for rejection treatment was lowered 8-fold (from sFr. 2113 to 259 averaged per patient) and the number of transplant biopsies was lowered > 3-fold in the MMF group. The cost for the immunosuppressive therapy was increased 1.5-fold with MMF (from sFr. 5906 to 9231 per patient for the first 6 months). CONCLUSIONS: The change from AZA to MMF resulted in a significant reduction in early rejection episodes, resulting in fewer diagnostic procedures and rehospitalizations. The optimal long-term regimen in terms of patient and pharmacoeconomic benefits remains to be defined. (+info)
Long-term results of pancreas transplantation under tacrolius immunosuppression.
BACKGROUND: The long-term safety and efficacy of tacrolimus in pancreas transplantation has not yet been demonstrated. The observation of prolonged pancreatic graft function under tacrolimus would indicate that any potential islet toxicity is short-lived and clinically insignificant. We report herein the results of pancreas transplantation in patients receiving primary tacrolimus immunosuppression for a minimum of 2 years. METHODS: From July 4, 1994 until April 18, 1996, 60 patients received either simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (n=55), pancreas transplant only (n=4), or pancreas after kidney transplantation (n=1). Baseline immunosuppression consisted of tacrolimus and steroids without antilymphocyte induction. Azathioprine was used as a third agent in 51 patients and mycophenolate mofetil in 9. Rejection episodes within the first 6 months occurred in 48 (80%) patients and were treated with high-dose corticosteroids. Antilymphocyte antibody was required in eight (13%) patients with steroid-resistant rejection. RESULTS: With a mean follow-up of 35.1+/-5.9 months (range: 24.3-45.7 months), 6-month and 1-, 2-, and 33-year graft survival is 88%, 82%, 80%, and 80% (pancreas) and 98%, 96%, 93%, and 91% (kidney), respectively. Six-month and 1-, 2-, and 3-year patient survival is 100%, 98%, 98%, and 96.5%. Mean fasting glucose is 91.6+/-13.8 mg/dl, and mean glycosylated hemoglobin is 5.1+/-0.7% (normal range: 4.3-6.1%). Mean tacrolimus dose is 6.5+/-2.6 mg/day and mean prednisone dose 2.0+/-2.9 mg/day at follow-up. Complete steroid withdrawal was possible in 31 (65%) of the 48 patients with functioning pancreases. CONCLUSIONS: These data show for the first time that tacrolimus is a safe and effective long-term primary agent in pancreas transplantation and provides excellent long-term islet function without evidence of toxicity while permitting steroid withdrawal in the majority of patients. (+info)
Pediatric renal transplantation under tacrolimus-based immunosuppression.
BACKGROUND: Tacrolimus has been used as a primary immunosuppressive agent in adult and pediatric renal transplant recipients, with reasonable outcomes. Methods. Between December 14, 1989 and December 31, 1996, 82 pediatric renal transplantations alone were performed under tacrolimus-based immunosuppression without induction anti-lymphocyte antibody therapy. Patients undergoing concomitant or prior liver and/or intestinal transplantation were not included in the analysis. The mean recipient age was 10.6+/-5.2 years (range: 0.7-17.9). Eighteen (22%) cases were repeat transplantations, and 6 (7%) were in patients with panel-reactive antibody levels over 40%. Thirty-four (41%) cases were with living donors, and 48 (59%) were with cadaveric donors. The mean donor age was 27.3+/-14.6 years (range: 0.7-50), and the mean cold ischemia time in the cadaveric cases was 26.5+/-8.8 hr. The mean number of HLA matches and mismatches was 2.8+/-1.2 and 2.9+/-1.3; there were five (6%) O-Ag mismatches. The mean follow-up was 4.0+/-0.2 years. RESULTS: The 1- and 4-year actuarial patient survival was 99% and 94%. The 1- and 4-year actuarial graft survival was 98% and 84%. The mean serum creatinine was 1.1+/-0.5 mg/dl, and the corresponding calculated creatinine clearance was 88+/-25 ml/min/1.73 m2. A total of 66% of successfully transplanted patients were withdrawn from prednisone. In children who were withdrawn from steroids, the mean standard deviation height scores (Z-score) at the time of transplantation and at 1 and 4 years were -2.3+/-2.0, -1.7+/-1.0, and +0.36+/-1.5. Eighty-six percent of successfully transplanted patients were not taking anti-hypertensive medications. The incidence of acute rejection was 44%; between December 1989 and December 1993, it was 63%, and between January 1994 and December 1996, it was 23% (P=0.0003). The incidence of steroid-resistant rejection was 5%. The incidence of delayed graft function was 5%, and 2% of patients required dialysis within 1 week of transplantation. The incidence of cytomegalovirus was 13%; between December 1989 and December 1992, it was 17%, and between January 1993 and December 1996, it was 12%. The incidence of early Epstein-Barr virus-related posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) was 9%; between December 1989 and December 1992, it was 17%, and between January 1993 and December 1996, it was 4%. All of the early PTLD cases were treated successfully with temporary cessation of immunosuppression and institution of antiviral therapy, without patient or graft loss. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the short- and medium-term efficacy of tacrolimus-based immunosuppression in pediatric renal transplant recipients, with reasonable patient and graft survival, routine achievement of steroid and anti-hypertensive medication withdrawal, gratifying increases in growth, and, with further experience, a decreasing incidence of both rejection and PTLD. (+info)
Global biventricular dysfunction in patients with asymptomatic coronary artery disease may be caused by myocarditis.
BACKGROUND: The causal role of asymptomatic critical coronary artery obstruction in patients presenting with severe global biventricular dysfunction but no evidence of myocardial infarction is uncertain. METHODS AND RESULTS: Among 291 patients aged >40 years undergoing a noninvasive (2-dimensional echocardiography) and invasive (catheterization, coronary angiography, and biventricular endomyocardial biopsy, 6 to 8 samples/patient) cardiac study because of progressive heart failure (New York Heart Association functional class III or IV) with global biventricular dysfunction and no history of myocardial ischemic events, 7 patients (2.4%; 7 men; mean age, 49+/-6.9 years) had severe coronary artery disease (3 vessels in 4 patients; 2 vessels in 1 patient, proximal occlusion of left anterior descending coronary artery in 2 patients). Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter and ejection fraction by 2-dimensional echocardiography were 73+/-10.5 mm and 23+/-6.5%, respectively, and right ventricular end-diastolic diameter and ejection fraction were 39+/-7 mm and 29+/-7.2%, respectively. Biopsy specimens showed extensive lymphocytic infiltrates with focal myocytolysis meeting the Dallas criteria for myocarditis in all patients (in 5 patients with and 2 patients without fibrosis). Cardiac autoantibodies were detected with indirect immunofluorescence in the serum of 2 patients with active myocarditis. The 2 patients with active inflammation received prednisone (1 mg. kg-1. d-1 for 4 weeks followed by 0.33 mg. kg-1. d-1 for 5 months) and azathioprine (2 mg. kg-1. d-1 for 5 months) in addition to conventional drug therapy for heart failure. At 8-month overall follow-up, cardiac volume and function improved considerably in immunosuppressed patients but remained unchanged in conventionally treated patients, of whom 1 died. CONCLUSIONS: Global biventricular dysfunction in patients with severe asymptomatic coronary artery disease and no evidence of previous myocardial infarction may be caused by myocarditis. Histologic findings may influence the treatment. (+info)
Randomised trial of mycophenolate mofetil versus azathioprine for treatment of chronic active Crohn's disease.
BACKGROUND: Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the alimentary tract. Azathioprine is an effective agent in the management of chronic active Crohn's disease leading to long term remission of disease activity. Such treatment leads to limited efficacy or side effects in a small subset of patients. AIMS: To compare efficacy and side effects of treatment with azathioprine plus corticosteroids versus mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) plus corticosteroids in patients with chronic active Crohn's disease. METHODS: Seventy patients with chronic active Crohn's disease (Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) greater than 150) were randomised for treatment with azathioprine/cortisone or MMF/cortisone. Corticosteroid dosage was tapered according to a standard protocol. Disease activity was monitored by clinical scores after one, two, three, and six months. RESULTS: Treatment of patients with moderately active (CDAI 150-300) Crohn's disease with MMF/cortisone led to a significant reduction in clinical activity scores comparable to treatment with azathioprine/cortisone. Treatment of patients with highly active Crohn's disease (CDAI greater than 300) with MMF/cortisone caused significant suppression of clinical activity earlier than azathioprine/cortisone treatment. Treatment with MMF/cortisone was associated with few adverse effects. CONCLUSION: Treatment of chronic active Crohn's disease with MMF plus cortisone appears to be effective and well tolerated and should be considered in patients allergic to azathioprine or in whom azathioprine has failed. (+info)
Intestinal T lymphocytes of different rat strains in immunotoxicity.
In order to study the intestinal mucosal immune cells, with emphasis on single T lymphocytes, an inventory was made of single and organized lymphocytes in the epithelium and lamina propria of the small intestines of untreated Wistar, Fischer 344, and Lewis rats. The single and organized lymphocytes were examined microscopically. In addition, the single lymphocytes in the epithelium (IEL) and lamina propria (LPL) were analyzed by flow cytometry. Next, the use of flow cytometry analysis was explored to detect changes in the IEL T-lymphocyte population in subacute oral studies with the immunomodulating agents azathioprine and hexachlorobenzene. Untreated random-bred Wistar rats exhibited a large interindividual variability in IEL composition, while the variability was small in inbred Fischer 344 and Lewis rats. The explorative study with the 2 model immunomodulating compounds demonstrated that hexachlorobenzene increased the number of intraepithelial T lymphocytes with CD8+ phenotype at the cost of T cells with CD4+ phenotype in Lewis rats. Azathioprine did not induce distinct effects on the percentages of IEL. The data indicate that the intraepithelial lymphocytes in the intestines are a potential target for orally administered immunomodulating compounds and should therefore receive more attention in toxicologic pathology studies. (+info)
Bone loss in long-term renal transplantation: histopathology and densitometry analysis.
BACKGROUND: There is little information of the spectrum and factors implicated in the bone loss in long-term renal transplantation, and virtually no data using both histomorphometric and densitometric analysis. METHODS: Twenty-three males and 22 females (13 postmenopausal) were studied with a bone biopsy and densitometry. Sixteen patients were on cyclosporine A monotherapy, 20 on azathioprine + prednisolone, and 9 on cyclosporine A + prednisolone or triple therapy. The mean time after transplantation was 127 +/- 70 months. RESULTS: No group had a significant decrease in bone mineral density (BMD) of the axial skeleton compared with an age- and sex-matched normal population. Compared with sex-matched young controls, osteopenia was observed in all groups at the femoral neck (except premenopausal women and triple therapy) and in the triple-therapy group at the L1-L4 spine region. At the distal radius, osteopenia was found in all the groups. Histopathological diagnosis was mixed uremic osteodystrophy in 46.5%, adynamic bone in 23.2%, hyperparathyroid disease in 13.9%, and normal bone in 16.3%. The diagnosis was not different according to immunosuppressive therapy, but men tended to show more mixed uremic bone disease. There was no significant difference in BMD between histopathological subtypes. In general, patients showed slight osteoclast function increase, osteoblast function decrease, and marked retardation of dynamic parameters. The cyclosporine A monotherapy group had a significantly lower appositional rate than azathioprine + prednisolone. Men had a significantly lower bone volume than women, and premenopausal women had a significantly lower mineralizing surface than postmenopausal women and men. In the multivariate analysis, male gender, time after transplantation, old age, and time on dialysis prior to transplantation were significant predictive factors for a negative effect on bone mass. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term renal transplant-patients showed reduced BMD in both trabecular and cortical bone. This reduction in BMD was not as severe as in short-term reports and was associated with osteoclast stimulation, osteoblast suppression, and retardation of mineral apposition and bone formation rates. Bone mass loss was not different between the immunosuppression therapy groups. Male gender and age were the strongest predictive factors for low bone mass. (+info)