How do corticosteroids contribute to immunosuppression following liver transplantation?

Updated: Dec 31, 2017
  • Author: Lemi Luu, MD, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Nearly all patients receive corticosteroids following transplantation. Corticosteroids are nonspecific anti-inflammatory agents working primarily to inhibit cytokine gene transcription. By doing so, steroids prevent the recruitment and activation of T cells. Typically initiated as methylprednisolone, the drug is switched to oral prednisone (~1 mg/kg) once oral intake is adequate and then is tapered. Acute rejection episodes are treated with higher doses followed by retapering.


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