The Use of Peri-Operative Intravenous Estrogen for the Mitigation of Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in the Setting of Renal Transplantation (PERT)

  • End date
    Jan 31, 2025
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Pennsylvania
Updated on 18 October 2022
kidney transplant


Ischemia perfusion injury (IRI) is a major cause of organ injury during kidney transplantation. Currently there are no treatments for IRI other than dialysis. Preliminary studies in female mice have found protection from IRI when given short term estrogen supplements. This study will look at the effect of intravenous estrogen given peri-operatively to reduce the effect of IRI in female kidney transplant recipients.


Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) is a major etiology of organ injury and dysfunction that occurs during transplantation. In renal transplantation, the clinical manifestation of IRI is delayed graft function (DGF), typically defined as a recipient requiring dialysis within the first week after transplant. At present, there are no directed treatments for IRI associated with kidney transplantation and resultant DGF, other than supportive care with dialysis. This represents an unmet clinical need. While dialysis enables the support of patients until DGF resolves, DGF is associated with increased medical costs, increased length of hospital stay, increased rates of readmission to the hospital after transplantation, increased rates of rejection, and decreased graft survival. Therapies to reduce IRI might alleviate clinical complications associated with DGF, reduce costs associated with transplantation, and ease organ shortages by facilitating use of more marginal organs.

Despite acceptance of gender disparities in IRI tolerance in animal systems, attempts to utilize hormonal manipulation in humans to achieve improved IRI tolerance have not been undertaken. In an effort to design such a translation, the investigators investigated if similar gender disparities exist in humans who have undergone kidney transplantation. After review of the United Network for Organ Sharing database, the investigators established that male recipient gender was highly associated with DGF. Then, the investigators demonstrated that manipulation of the pre-ischemic environment with short-term estrogen supplementation in female mice provides protection from renal IRI. As a logical next stop, the investigators propose hormonal manipulation with perioperative administration of intravenous conjugated estrogens as a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce the effect of IRI in female humans undergoing kidney transplantation. The investigators have designed an investigational new drug (IND) late phase I/early phase II prospective, single center, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to test the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of this therapy. If the administration of peri-operative intravenous administration has a positive impact on the rate of recovery of GFR after renal transplant and the inherent IRI, then this therapy would represent the first treatment for IRI and ultimately might reduce the incidence of DGF. Because DGF after kidney transplantation is associated with inferior transplant outcomes and increased costs,2 a therapy that mitigates the effect of IRI and consequently reduces the incidence of DGF not only might alleviate these complications but could also ease organ shortages by facilitating the use of more marginal organs. Moreover, if estrogen therapy does mitigate IRI in the setting of renal transplantation, it could be applied to other causes of renal IRI including supra-celiac clamping in trauma or vascular surgery or the use of cardiopulmonary bypass in cardiac surgery. Female adult subjects with a diagnosis of end stage renal disease who are dialysis dependent at the time of deceased donor renal transplantation and meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria will be eligible for participation in this study.

Condition Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Treatment Normal saline, Conjugated Estrogen, Conjugated Estrogen
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03663543
SponsorUniversity of Pennsylvania
Last Modified on18 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Female gender
Age > 21 years at time of transplant
Pre-existing dialysis dependence of at least 1-months duration at the time of transplant
Receiving a deceased donor renal transplant with KDPI >40
Written informed consent obtained from subject and ability for subject to comply with the requirements of the study

Exclusion Criteria

History of solid organ transplant
Receiving a combined heart-kidney transplant, liver-kidney transplant, or other multivisceral organ transplant
Personal history of hypercoagulable condition including but not limited to Lupus Anticoagulant, Leiden Factor V Mutation, Prothrombin Gene Mutation, Protein C or S deficiency, or any other hypercoagulable condition considered by the attending transplant surgeon on clinical service or Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) t to warrant exclusion from the study
Personal history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)
Personal history of an estrogen sensitive cancer (breast, endometrial, ovarian)
Personal history of arterial thromboembolic disease such as stroke or myocardial infarction in the 6 months prior to transplantation
Patient already on estrogen (including oral contraceptive pills) or anti-estrogen therapy for other indications
Patient body mass index (BMI) > 40
Patient who is expected to not tolerate a dose of 500-5000U intravenous heparin at the time of transplant as determined by the transplant surgeon
Known anaphylactic reaction and/or angioedema to Premarin Intravenous therapy
Patient who has a contraindication or allergy to or is expected to not tolerate a dose of 2500-7500U subcutaneous heparin prophylaxis three times daily during hospital stay as determined by the transplant surgeon
Pregnant and breast feeding patients will be excluded from the study due to the small risk of radiation associated with the DTPA renal scan
Presence of a condition or abnormality that in the opinion of the investigator or attending transplant surgeon primarily responsible for the patient's care would compromise the safety of the patient or the quality of the data
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