Does belatacept improve outcomes for kidney transplant recipients? A systematic review

Nishanthi Talawila, Liset H.M. Pengel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Belatacept was intended to provide better outcomes for kidney transplant (KT) recipients by allowing minimization/withdrawal of calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) and steroids.

METHODS: We searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in adult KT comparing belatacept with CNIs. Methodological quality was assessed. Meta-analyses were performed to calculate odds ratios (OR) and mean differences (MD).

RESULTS: Six RCTs were included. Pooled analyses found no differences for acute rejection at any time point. Renal function [Calculated glomerular filtration rate (cGFR)] was better with belatacept at 12 and 24 months (MD = 11.7 and 13.7 ml/min/1.73 m(2) ). New onset diabetes after transplantation was lower with belatacept at 12 months (OR = 0.43). Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were lower at 12 months (MD -7.2 and -3.1 mmHg) as were triglycerides at 12 and 24 months (MD = -32.9 and -41.7 mg/dl). Total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were lower with belatacept at 24 months (MD = -19.8 and -10.6 mg/dl). There were no differences for other outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Limited available data suggest a potential benefit for belatacept by reducing the risk of CNI toxicity, especially renal function, without evidence of increased acute rejection. There were no safety issues apart from a possible risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in Epstein-barr virus-seronegative recipients. Further studies are required to confirm this benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1264
Number of pages14
JournalTransplant International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2015 Steunstichting ESOT.


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