We conducted the first prospective, randomized, open-label multicenter study in low-immunologic risk adult recipients of primary cadaver kidney transplants receiving rabbit anti-T-lymphocyte globulin, mycophenolate mofetil, cyclosporine microemulsion introduced on day 5, with and without corticosteroids. Patients were randomly assigned according to age and cold ischemia time to receive corticosteroids for at least 6 months or no corticosteroids at all. The main efficacy evaluation criterion was acute rejection (including all treated episodes and those biopsy-confirmed) during the first year following transplantation. For this purpose, this report includes the actual results of the whole 12-month follow-up of all randomized patients. For efficacy analysis, 98 patients were evaluated in the Steroid avoidance group and 99 in the Steroid maintenance group. Taken as a whole, 81% of the patients (n = 159) never received anti-rejection treatment. From the 38 patients who received anti-rejection treatment, 25 (%) were in the Steroid avoidance group and 13 (%) in the Steroid maintenance group (P < ), experiencing respectively 17 (%) and 7 (%) biopsy-proven first episodes of acute rejection (P < ). Borderline changes (6 vs. 3) were not considered as biopsy-proven acute rejections. Onset of first rejection was significantly shorter in the Steroid avoidance group (P < ). First-line anti-rejection treatment response, need for any rescue therapy, as well as histologic severity of rejection episodes did not statistically differ between the groups. One-year post-transplantation analysis showed no differences in delayed graft function, serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, 24-h proteinuria, as well as serious adverse events between the groups. De novo diabetes (P < ) or dyslipidemia (P < ) as well as newly diagnosed malignancies (P < ) were however more frequently observed in the Steroid maintenance group. At the end of the first post-transplant year, 99% of patients in the Steroid avoidance group and 97% of patients in the Steroid maintenance group were respectively alive (P = ), with respectively 95% and % of functioning kidney grafts (P = ). Our results showed that total avoidance of corticosteroids from the day of transplantation was associated with a significantly increased number of clinically diagnosed and treated, and biopsy-proven acute rejections during the first year of transplantation. Nevertheless, overall outcome, 1-year patient and graft survival as well as renal function were similar, and the patients in the Steroid avoidance group exhibited a lower incidence of de novo dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus and malignancies often associated with steroid treatment.