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Steroid withdrawal in renal transplant patients: the Irish experience.BACKGROUND: Steroid therapy is associated with significant morbidity in renal transplant recipients. However, there is concern that steroid withdrawal will adversely affect outcome. METHODS: We report on 241 renal transplant recipients on different doses of corticosteroids at 3 months (zero, 5 mg/day). Parameters analysed included blood pressure, lipid profile, weight change, new onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT), allograft survival and acute rejection. RESULTS: Elimination of corticosteroids had no impact on allograft survival at 1 year. There were no cases of NODAT in the steroid withdrawal group compared with over 7% in each of the steroid groups. There were no significant improvements in weight gain, blood pressure control or total cholesterol with withdrawal of steroids before 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: In renal transplant patients treated with tacrolimus and mycophenolate, early withdrawal of steroids does not appear to adversely affect allograft outcome at 1 year. It may result in less NODAT.