Steroid-free three-drug maintenance regimen for pancreas transplant alone: Comparison of induction with rabbit antithymocyte globulin +/− rituximab

Jonathan A. Fridell, Richard S. Mangus, Jeanne M. Chen, Tim E. Taber, Arianna E. Cabrales, Asif A. Sharfuddin, Muhammad S. Yaqub, John A. Powelson

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2 Scopus citations


Graft survival following pancreas transplant alone (PTA) is inferior to other pancreas transplants. Steroid elimination is appealing, but a two-drug maintenance strategy may be inadequate. Additionally, recipients tend to have diabetic nephropathy and do not tolerate nephrotoxic medications. A three-drug maintenance strategy permits immunosuppression through different mechanisms as well as an opportunity to use lower doses of the individual medications. Induction consisted of five doses of rabbit antithymocyte globulin (1 mg/kg/dose). As of October 2007, a single dose of rituximab (150 mg/m2) was added. Maintenance consisted of tacrolimus, sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil. From 2004 to 2017, 166 PTA were performed. Graft loss at 7 and 90 days were 4% and 5%, and 1-year patient and graft survival were 97% and 91%. Comparing induction without and with rituximab, there was no significant difference in 7- or 90-day graft loss, 1-year patient or graft survival, or in the rate of rejection or infection. Rabbit antithymocyte globulin induction and steroid withdrawal followed by a three-drug immunosuppression regimen is an excellent strategy for PTA recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3000-3006
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018



  • clinical research/practice
  • immunosuppressive regimens-induction
  • immunosuppressive regimens-maintenance
  • pancreas/simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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