Objectives: The optimal immunosuppression regimen for elderly kidney transplant recipients is poorly defined. We sought to evaluate the shortterm efficacy and safety of thymoglobulin in geriatric recipients of deceased-donor kidneys. Materials and Methods: A single-center, retrospective analysis was undertaken between elderly (≥ 65 years) (n=137) and nonelderly (n=276) kidney transplant recipients who received rabbit antithymocyte globulin induction and calcineurin inhibitor, mycophenolic acid, and prednisone maintenance. Results: The mean age was 70 versus 52 years. Fewer elderly patients had an earlier transplant or panel reactive antibodies > 20%, but had more machine perfused, older, and extended criteria donor kidneys. Elderly patients received lower rabbit antithymocyte globulin (5.4 vs 5.6 mg/kg; P =.04) and initial mycophenolic acid doses (1620 vs 1774 mg; P =.002), and experienced less delayed graft function (31.1% vs 50.0%; P <.001). Death-censored graft survival and graft function at 3 years and biopsy-proven acute rejection at 1 year were comparable; however, there was lower 3-year patient survival in elderly patients. Donor age was the only factor associated with reduced patient survival. Rates of malignancy, infection, or thrombocytopenia were similar; however, leukopenia occurred less frequently in elderly patients (11.7% vs 19.9%; P =.038). Conclusions: Elderly kidney transplant recipients receiving rabbit antithymocyte globulin did not experience different short-term graft survival, graft function or rates of infection, malignancy or hematologic adverse reactions than did nonelderly patients; they experienced fewer episodes of delayed graft function, but had lower 3-year patient survival.
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