Steroids After Liver Transplant Can Be WithdrawnSteroids have been a great help to patients who undergo organ transplant because it protects recipients from rejecting the new organ. Steroid treatment is not completely risk-free since side effects are always linked to steroids. Among the possible side effects of steroids are infections, high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, and impaired growth in young patients.

Although steroids have been playing vital role in organ transplant, a study in Belgium suggests that children who undergo liver transplant will do better if they are not given steroids after the operation.

The researchers tested the use of a newer anti-rejection drug in a group of 20 children needing liver transplants to see if the new drug might solve some of these problems. The patients received a combination therapy which used basiliximab instead of steroids.

They found out that children on the newer combination of medications had a 25% graft rejection rate after one year versus 50% among those who had received steroid therapy following their transplant. Children on the new treatment also had a reduced need for high blood pressure medications and appeared to begin catching up on growth soon after their transplant.

The team still needs to confirm their findings in extended follow-ups although their findings showed no harmful side effects.