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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 313-319

Low-dose induction immunosuppression in deceased donor kidney transplantation during coronavirus disease pandemic - A multicentric prospective observational study

1 Department of Nephrology, Government Medical College, Kollam, Kerala, India
2 KIMS Hospital, Kollam, Kerala, India
3 Department of Nephrology at Travancore Medicity Hospital, Kollam, Kerala, India
4 Department of Urology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jacob George
Department of Nephrology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 011, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijot.ijot_111_20

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Context: There are concerns regarding the use of induction immunosuppression during deceased donor renal transplantation in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and whether lower doses may suffice. Aims: We aimed to compare different induction immunosuppression regimens in deceased donor renal transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Settings and Design: A multicenter, prospective observational study of patients undergoing deceased donor renal transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic in Southern Kerala from April to June 2020 with differing induction immunosuppression and follow-up for at least 6 months. Subjects and Methods: Patients were from Government (Group A) and Private hospitals (Group B). Induction immunosuppression included low dose rituximab and/or low dose anti-thymocyte globulin in group A and higher dose induction with anti-thymocyte globulin or basiliximab in Group B. Graft function at 1 and 6 months, infectious complications, and cost of induction immunosuppression were compared. Statistical Analysis Used: Mood's median, Chi-square, Fisher Exact, and Mann–Whitney U test. Results: Of eleven deceased donor kidney transplantations, six were from Group A and 5 from Group B. Three in Group A and two in Group B had reversible antibody-mediated rejections. Median serum creatinine (interquartile range) in both groups at 1 month was 1.35 (1.1, 3) and 1.5 (1.1, 3.5) mg/dl, respectively, and by 6 months 1.5 (1.05, 2.33) mg/dl and 1.7 (1.15, 2.6) mg/dl, respectively. Two patients in Group A died, one due to Gram-negative septicemia at the 2nd month and the second by the 3rd month following a cardiovascular event. Mean cost of induction immunosuppression in both groups was INR 40,500 ± 22,827 and 107,200 ± 57,595 (P = 0.01). There was no difference in infection episodes in both groups. Rituximab in a dose of 100 mg was used as induction in 4 patients with comparable graft functions and cost-benefit with a mean cost of INR 33,750 ± 26,196 and Rs. 92,000 ± 53,715 in the rituximab and nonrituximab groups, respectively (P = 0.056). Conclusions: Low-dose induction immunosuppression in the COVID pandemic was cheaper with comparable graft functions at 1 and 6 months.

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