In addition to standard corticosteroid induction, anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) or daclizumab as induction immunosuppression has been reported for liver transplantation. However, the effects and long-term outcomes of antibody induction therapy are not well known, especially for hepatitis C (HCV). The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database was utilized to analyze 16 898 adult primary liver transplant patients who received ATG alone (n = 452), ATG and steroids (ATG + S) (n = 1758), daclizumab alone (n = 683), or steroid alone (n = 14 005), listed as induction immunosuppression. Graft and patient survival, and donor and recipient factors for survival were analyzed for HCV and all liver diseases. For patients with HCV, ATG + S had significantly inferior graft survival compared with daclizumab (P = 0.01) and steroids (P = 0.03). The Cox proportional hazards model also showed that ATG + S was a marginal risk factor for graft failure (P = 0.05). On the other hand, for patients with all the liver diseases, graft and patient survival were not significantly different between induction regimens. ATG induction appeared to be preferentially used in patients with renal dysfunction, with improvement in renal function after liver transplantation. Thus, ATG induction can be used for patients with renal dysfunction in non-HCV diseases. Daclizumab induction achieved satisfactory short-term and long-term outcomes of liver transplantation in all the liver diseases including HCV disease.
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