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      Mycophenolate mofetil versus cyclosporin A in high risk keratoplasty patients: a prospectively randomised clinical trial.

      The British Journal of Ophthalmology
      Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Corneal Transplantation, Cyclosporine, therapeutic use, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Graft Rejection, prevention & control, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Male, Middle Aged, Mycophenolic Acid, analogs & derivatives, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors

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          The requirement for an effective, minimally toxic immunosuppressive agent remains a major obstacle to performing high risk corneal transplantation. Although therapy with cyclosporin A (CSA) allows superior graft survival, its use is limited because of a wide range of side effects. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) has been shown to be a safe and effective immunosuppressive agent following renal transplantation. This prospective, randomised clinical trial was carried out to investigate the efficacy and safety of MMF in preventing corneal allograft rejection. Recipients of corneal transplants who were at high risk for graft failure were randomly assigned to either CSA or MMF immunosuppressive therapy. CSA was given in doses to achieve whole blood trough levels of 120-150 ng/ml. MMF was given in a daily dose of 2 g. Both therapy groups additionally received oral corticosteroids (fluocortolone 1 mg/kg) which were tapered and discontinued within the first 3 postoperative weeks. Patients were monitored closely for evidence of corneal graft rejection and adverse side effects. Drug efficacy was measured, primarily, by the number of patients who experienced at least one episode of clinical graft rejection. Safety analysis focused on reported adverse side effects and laboratory measurements. 41 patients were enrolled in the study. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. 20 patients received CSA and 21 patients received MMF. Two patients in each group showed evidence of acute graft rejection which could be treated effectively by corticosteroids. All corneal grafts remained clear throughout the follow up. In this study it was shown that MMF is just as effective as CSA in preventing acute rejection following high risk corneal transplantation. Mycophenolate mofetil represents a promising alternative therapeutic option in patients who are at high risk for corneal graft failure.

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