Long-term effects of cyclosporine on renal function in organ transplant recipients

J. P. Bantle, M. S. Paller, R. J. Boudreau, M. T. Olivari, T. F. Ferris

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42 Scopus citations


To evaluate whether cyclosporine nephrotoxicity is progressive, glomerular filtration rate and renal plasma flow were determined by isotopic techniques in 24 cyclosporine-treated organ transplant recepients (12 heart, 1 pancreas, and 11 kidney recipients). The cyclosporine group demonstrated reductions in glomerular filtration rate and renal plasma flow, with higher renal vascular resistance and mean arterial pressure as compared with an azathioprine-treated control group. However, longitudinal studies over a mean time period of 23 months in eight cyclosporine-treated renal transplant recipients showed renal function to remain stable. In the entire group of 24 cyclosporine-treated patients, longer duration of cyclosporine treatment was associated with decreased but stable glomerular filtration rate, increased renal plasma flow, decreased renal vascular resistance, and lower daily doses of cyclosporine. Evaluation of intrarenal resistances demonstrated a greater decreases in efferent than afferent arteriolar resistance, consistent with the fall in plasma renin activity that occurred with time. Short-term treatment of 12 patients with prazosin produced no beneficial effect on renal function, whereas treatment of nine patients with captopril produced a 20% increase in renal plasma flow, with a significant reduction in renal vascular resistance. We conclude that although cyclosporine treatment produces decreased renal function, the loss in renal function is not necessarily progressive. Treatment with captopril may improve the abnormal renal hemodynamics of cyclosporine-treated patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


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