The influence of early steroid withdrawal on body composition and bone mineral density in renal transplantation patients

E.C.H. van den Ham*, J.P. Kooman, M.H. Christiaans, J.P. van Hooff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The influence of early steroid withdrawal on body composition and bone mineral density in renal transplantation patients.

van den Ham EC, Kooman JP, Christiaans ML, van Hooff JP.

Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Maastricht, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands. evha@sint.azm.nl

Corticosteroid treatment may have an important effect on body composition and bone mineral density (BMD) in renal transplantation (RTx) patients. We investigated the effect of early steroid withdrawal on body composition and BMD of RTx patients in a prospective design. Post-transplant immunosuppression consisted of tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisolone. Three months after RTx, 27 patients participating in a multi-center trial were randomized either to continue steroids (at a dose of 10 mg/day, n=17; steroid+) or be withdrawn from steroids within 2 weeks (n=10; steroid-). Body composition and BMD (lumbar spine (L2-L4) and femoral neck) were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) just before and 3 months after randomization. With regard to body composition, fat mass tended to increase in the steroid+ group (1.1+/-2.3 kg; P=0.084), but did not change in the steroid- group. Increase in body fat percentage tended to be higher (P=0.08) in the steroid+ group (0.6+/-2.7%) than in the steroid- group (-0.7+/-2.1%). The change in lean body mass was not significantly different between the two groups. BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck decreased significantly in the steroid+ group (-1.4+/-3.2% and -2.3+/-2.9%, respectively, P<0.05) while no changes were observed in the steroid- group. The change in BMD of the lumbar spine was significantly different between the steroid+ and the steroid- group, whereas the change in BMD of the femoral neck was not significantly different. Thus, the increase in fat mass tended to be higher in the group continuing on steroids, though not significant, due to large inter-individual variation. In general, the effect of early steroid withdrawal on body composition after RTx appears to be modest. In addition, early steroid withdrawal seems to have beneficial effects on BMD in RTx patients, especially in the lumbar region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages5
JournalTransplant International
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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