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In 2002, equal numbers of lung transplantation (LTx) were performed with or without induction therapy with antilymphocyte antibodies, monoclonal antiCD3 antibody or anti-interleukin-2-receptor monoclonal antibodies. It remains to be established if induction therapy after LTx is beneficial or deleterious for long-term graft and patient survival. The vast majority of lung transplant recipients receive a triple-drug maintenance regimen including a calcineurin inhibitor, a cell-cycle inhibitor and steroids. Equal proportions receive cyclosporin A (CsA) and tacrolimus (Tac). There is also a trend to prescribe mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) instead of azathioprine (Aza). Steroid withdrawal is uncommon even 5 yrs after transplantation. The superiority of Tac over CsA as a maintenance agent has not been established to date, and the administration of MMF instead of Aza in combination with CsA and steroids did not improve graft or patient survival in a recent international, prospective, randomised, controlled trial. Shift from cyclosporin A to tacrolimus has emerged as the first treatment step of refractory acute rejection followed by high-dose steroids or antilymphocyte agents, total lymphoid irradiation or photopheresis. The treatment of chronic rejection remains deceptive and includes varied strategies such as modification of the maintenance regimen, addition of inhaled immunosuppressants and/or total lymphoid irradiation and photopheresis.




Article Category: Transplanation