3-month Screening Biopsy to Optimize the Immunosuppression in Renal Transplantation

  • End date
    Jun 11, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Hospices Civils de Lyon
Updated on 11 June 2021
immunosuppressive agents
kidney biopsy


Renal transplantation represents currently the best therapeutic alternative for end-stage renal failure, not only in terms of patient outcomes (better quality of life and longer survival), but also in terms of costs for the society.

Progress achieved in the last 20 years has resulted in a drastic reduction of the incidence of "classic" (i.e. clinically patent) acute cellular rejection episodes.

Unfortunately, and rather unexpectedly, this progress has had hardly any effect on the frequency of the loss of kidney transplants beyond the first year, as shown by the stagnation of grafts' half lives.

Furthermore, the use of immunosuppressant combinations that are more and more powerful has an impact on adverse effects in recipients, including an increased incidence of infections, cancers, but also metabolic complications (diabetes, osteoporosis, dyslipidemia, etc.), which are cause of significant morbi-mortality.

In an attempt to improve on these disappointing outcomes, some teams have offered to perform screening biopsies: i.e. routine biopsies at specific time points during the follow up, irrespective of graft function. Their primary interest is to allow a pathological analysis of the graft at an early stage, i.e. when potential histological lesions allow for a diagnosis but before these lesions impact on graft's function. Indeed, it has been clearly demonstrated that therapeutic adjustments intended to protect the grafts are most effective when introduced early. There is a fairly broad consensus to perform these biopsies three months and one year after the transplantation. Performing screening biopsies has led to the identification of "subclinical" forms of rejection, i.e. graft infiltration by recipient immune effectors meeting the Banff histological criteria, but without increase in creatininemia.

Assuming that about 10% of screening biopsies performed at 3 months reveal a subclinical rejection, which needs to be treated, the management strategy for the remaining 90% of patients, whose biopsies show either i) a mild inflammatory infiltrates: i.e. "borderline changes", or ii) the complete absence of immune effectors in the graft is, poorly standardized.

The investigators therefore propose to conduct a prospective randomized trial to answer these questions simultaneously by evaluating a strategy to optimize the immunosuppression of renal graft recipients based on the presence or absence of subclinical intragraft inflammatory infiltrates in the screening biopsy performed at 3 months post transplantation. Patients with borderline changes (sub-study A) will be randomized to receive a treatment for rejection (corticosteroid boluses). Patients without inflammation in their graft (sub-study B) will be randomized for corticosteroid withdrawal. Impact on graft function, progression of histological lesions and incidence of morbidity will be evaluated.

Condition Organ Transplantation, Renal transplant, Organ Transplant - Pediatric, Organ Transplant, Kidney Transplantation, kidney transplant, renal transplantation, kidney transplants
Treatment Corticosteroid boluses Methylprednisolone, No therapeutic modification, Stop maintenance corticotherapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02444429
SponsorHospices Civils de Lyon
Last Modified on11 June 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Common to both sub-studies (A and B)
Renal transplant patient aged between 18 and 75
Patient who received a first or second renal graft
Immunosuppressive treatment consisting of an anti-calcineurin [cyclosporine (trough levels: 150<T0<300)], or tacrolimus (trough levels: 8<T0<12), mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroids
Patient who benefited from a screening renal biopsy 3 months after the graft
Patient who gave their informed consent
Patient affiliated to a social security scheme or being a beneficiary of such a scheme
Specific to sub-study A
Presence of "borderline" inflammatory infiltrates on the screening biopsy at 3 months as defined by the Banff classification 2013
Absence of vascular lesions (v0) and
tubulitis regardless of its significance (t1-3) with minimum interstitial infiltrate (i0-i1) OR
interstitial infiltrates (i2-3) without significant tubulitis ( t1)
Specific to sub-study B Absence of significant inflammatory infiltrates (i0-1 and t0) on the screening biopsy at 3 months

Exclusion Criteria

Common to both sub-studies (A and B)
Histological subclinical rejection criteria on the screening biopsy at 3 months (Banff 2009: > i2+t2)
Donor specific antibodies in historical serum or de novo appearance during the first 3 months
Humoral lesions on the 3-month biopsy (Banff score g+ptc>2)
Classic" acute rejection episode proven by biopsy during the first 3 months
Multiorgan transplantation
rd (or subsequent) renal transplantation
BK virus-associated nephropathy on the screening biopsy
Contraindication to the 1-year screening biopsy
Specific to sub-study B Initial nephropathy with a high risk of recurrence on corticosteroid withdrawal: segmental and focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis, lupus nephritis, vasculitis, or membranous glomerulonephritis
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a site
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Preferred Language
Other Language
Please verify that you are not a bot.

Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note