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      HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors in kidney transplant recipients receiving tacrolimus: statins not associated with improved patient or graft survival

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          The beneficial effects of early statin use in kidney transplant recipients, especially those on tacrolimus-based immunosuppression, are not well established. We evaluated the predictors of statin use following kidney transplantation and examined its association with patient and allograft survival.


          We examined 615 consecutive patients who underwent kidney transplant at our institution between January 1998 and January 2002. Statin use was assessed at baseline and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months following kidney transplant. Patients were followed for allograft and patient survival.


          36% of the 615 kidney transplant recipients were treated with statin treatment. Statin use increased over the course of the study period. Older age, elevated body mass index, higher triglyceride levels, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, history of myocardial infarction were associated with higher rates of statin use; elevated alkaline phosphatase levels and CMV IgG seropositivity were associated with less statin use. Older age, elevated BMI and hypercholesterolemia remained significant predictors of increased statin use after accounting for covariates using multiple regression. The early use of statins was not associated with improvements in unadjusted patient survival [HR 0.99; 95%CI 0.72-1.37] or graft survival [HR 0.97; 95% CI 0.76-1.24]. The risks of death and graft survival were not consistently reduced with exposure to statin using either adjusted models or propensity scores in Cox Proportional Hazards models.


          In a kidney transplant population primarily receiving tacrolimus-based immunosuppression, early statin use was not associated with significantly improved graft or patient survival.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Statins selectively inhibit leukocyte function antigen-1 by binding to a novel regulatory integrin site.

          The beta2 integrin leukocyte function antigen-1 (LFA-1) has an important role in the pathophysiology of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Here we report that statin compounds commonly used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia selectively blocked LFA-1-mediated adhesion and costimulation of lymphocytes. This effect was unrelated to the statins' inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A reductase; instead it occurred via binding to a novel allosteric site within LFA-1. Subsequent optimization of the statins for LFA-1 binding resulted in potent, selective and orally active LFA-1 inhibitors that suppress the inflammatory response in a murine model of peritonitis. Targeting of the statin-binding site of LFA-1 could be used to treat diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ischemia/reperfusion injury and transplant rejection.
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            Long-term cardiac outcomes in renal transplant recipients receiving fluvastatin: the ALERT extension study.

            Renal transplant recipients (RTR) have an increased risk of premature cardiovascular disease. The ALERT study is the first trial to evaluate the effect of statin therapy on cardiac outcomes following renal transplantation. Patients initially randomized to fluvastatin or placebo in the 5-6 year ALERT study were offered open-label fluvastatin XL 80 mg/day in a 2-year extension to the original study. The primary endpoint was time to first major adverse cardiac event (MACE). Of 1787 patients who completed ALERT, 1652 (92%) were followed in the extension. Mean total follow-up was 6.7 years. Mean LDL-cholesterol was 98 mg/dL (2.5 mmol/L) at last follow-up compared to a pre-study level of 159 mg/dL (4.1 mmol/L). Patients randomized to fluvastatin had a reduced risk of MACE (hazards ratio [HR] 0.79, 95% CI 0.63-0.99, p = 0.036), and a 29% reduction in cardiac death or definite non-fatal MI (HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.55-0.93, p = 0.014). Total mortality and graft loss did not differ significantly between groups. Fluvastatin produces a safe and effective reduction in LDL-cholesterol associated with reduced risk of MACE in RTR. The lipid-lowering and cardiovascular benefits of fluvastatin are comparable to those of statins in other patient groups, and support use of fluvastatin in RTR.
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              Effect of pravastatin on loss of renal function in people with moderate chronic renal insufficiency and cardiovascular disease.

               Aaron Moye,  ,  Gary Curhan (2003)
              Limited data suggest that HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) may slow loss of renal function in individuals with chronic renal insufficiency. This study was conducted to determine whether pravastatin reduced rates of loss of renal function in people with moderate chronic renal insufficiency. This was a post hoc subgroup analysis of a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial. Data were analyzed from the CARE study (a randomized trial of pravastatin versus placebo in 4159 participants with previous myocardial infarction and total plasma cholesterol < 240 mg/dl). Participants with estimated GFR (MDRD-GFR) < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) body surface area at baseline were considered to have moderate chronic renal insufficiency. Multivariate regression was used to calculate rates of decline in MDRD-GFR for individuals receiving pravastatin and placebo, controlling for prospectively determined covariates that might influence rates of renal function loss. Change in renal function could be calculated in 3384 individuals, of whom 690 (20.4%) had MDRD-GFR < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) and were eligible for inclusion. Among all individuals with MDRD-GFR < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)), the MDRD-GFR decline in the pravastatin group was not significantly different from that in the placebo group (0.1 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr slower; 95% CI, -0.2 to 0.4; P = 0.49). However, there was a significant stepwise inverse relation between MDRD-GFR before treatment and slowing of renal function loss with pravastatin use, with more benefit in those with lower MDRD-GFR at baseline (P = 0.04). Rate of change in MDRD-GFR in the pravastatin group was 0.6 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr slower than placebo (95% CI, -0.1 to 1.2; P = 0.07) in those with MDRD-GFR < 50 ml/min, and 2.5 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr slower (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.6 slower; P = 0.0001) in those with MDRD-GFR < 40 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)/yr. Pravastatin also reduced rates of renal loss to a greater extent in participants with than without proteinuria at baseline (P = 0.006). It is concluded that pravastatin may slow renal function loss in individuals with moderate to severe kidney disease, especially those with proteinuria. These findings require confirmation by a large randomized trial conducted specifically in people with chronic renal insufficiency.

                Author and article information

                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrology
                BioMed Central
                1 April 2010
                : 11
                : 5
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Renal-Electrolyte Division, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
                [2 ]Department of Surgery, Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
                [3 ]Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
                [4 ]Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine Palo Alto, CA USA
                Copyright ©2010 Younas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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