Comparison of FK-506 and cyclosporine regimens in pediatric renal transplantation

Demetrius Ellis, Ron Shapiro, Mark L. Jordan, Velma P. Scantlebury, Nisan Gilboa, Laszlo Hopp, Nancy Weichler, Andreas G. Tzakis, Richard L. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Clinical aspects of FK-506 or cyclosporine immunosuppression regimens were evaluated in 48 consecutive pediatric renal transplant recipients. Tapering and discontinuation of prednisone was employed only in children receiving FK-506 who experienced minor or no rejection episodes during the 1st posttransplant month. At 1 year follow-up, 17 of 22 (77%) of all children with functioning allografts were receiving no prednisone (n=13) or a mean dosage of 0.07 mg/kg per day (n=4). During the 1st month, acute cellular rejection was more common in the FK-506 group (0.58 vs. 0.21 rejections per patient, P<0.05) but allograft survival (92%) and renal function at 1 year posttransplant were identical in both groups. Compared with the cyclosporine regimen, FK-506 immunosuppression may be associated with a higher incidence of cytomegalovirus or reversible Epstein-Barr virus-induced lymphoproliferative disease. However, the FK-506 group had less hirsutism and gingival hypertrophy and required fewer antihypertensive medications independent of steroid use. Height standard deviation scores and weight-for-height index improved only in preadolescents receiving FK-506 but no prednisone (P<0.02 and P<0.05, respectively), but did not differ between children on FK-506 plus prednisone and those in the cyclosporine group. We conclude that the major advantages of FK-506 over cyclosporine immunosuppression are a reduced severity of hypertension and an improved cosmetic appearance which may improve long-term medical compliance. When used as monotherapy, FK-506 also shows promise in relieving the growth retardation associated with cyclosporine regimens that include prednisone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • FK-506
  • Growth
  • Hypertension
  • Transplantation


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