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Background. MO2ART (monitoring of 2-hr absorption in renal transplantation) is the first prospective, multicenter trial of cyclosporine (CsA) blood level 2 hr postdose (C2) monitoring in de novo kidney recipients receiving CsA microemulsion (ME) (Neoral; Novartis, Basel, Switzerland). Efficacy and safety results from the first 3 months are presented here.

Methods. MO2ART is a 12-month, open-label, randomized study involving 296 patients. In all patients, the dose of CsA-ME was adjusted to achieve protocol-defined C2 targets of 1.6 to 2.0 [mu]g/mL for the first month, with subsequent tapering. Randomization into two target groups occurred at 3 months. All patients received steroids and mycophenolate mofetil (89%) or azathioprine. For patients with delayed graft function, the protocol permitted reduced C2 targets and prophylactic administration of antibodies.

Results. At 3 months, overall incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection was 11.5%. Median serum creatinine was 132 [mu]mol/L. Patient and graft survival were 96.6% and 91.2%, respectively. C2 levels greater than 1.6 [mu]g/mL were achieved within 5 days by 60.6% of patients with immediate graft function and 19.5% of patients with delayed graft function. Prophylactic antibodies were used in 15% of the total population. Twenty-four patients (8.1%) experienced serious adverse events with a suspected relation to CsA, and 26 patients (8.8%) discontinued the study because of adverse events (n=15) or after a switch in immunosuppression after rejection episodes (n=11).

Conclusions. Patient management by C2 monitoring resulted in a low incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection in standard risk de novo kidney recipients, 85% of whom did not receive prophylactic antibodies. CsA-ME with C2 monitoring provides excellent short-term efficacy and safety among de novo renal transplant patients.

(C) 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.