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      Superior rejection profile during the first 24 months after heart transplantation under tacrolimus as baseline immunosuppressive regimen

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          The use of tacrolimus (TAC) in patients after heart transplantation (HTX) has increased over the last few years.


          In this retrospective study, we evaluated the effects of a TAC (conventional and extended-release TAC)-based immunosuppressive therapy regarding rejection profile in comparison to a cyclosporine A (CSA)-based regimen in patients after HTX.


          The data of 233 patients who underwent HTX at the Heidelberg Heart Transplantation Center from May 1998 until November 2010 were retrospectively analyzed. Primary immunosuppressive therapy was changed from a CSA (n=114) to a TAC (n=119)-based regimen in February 2006 according to center routine. Follow-up period was 2 years post-HTX. Primary endpoint was time to first biopsy-proven rejection requiring therapy. In all patients, routine follow-up at the Heidelberg Heart Transplantation Center was mandatory.


          Multivariate risk factor analysis regarding time to first rejection episode showed no statistically significant differences regarding recipient age, donor age, recipient sex, donor sex, sex mismatch, ischemic time, and diagnosis leading to HTX between the two groups (all P= not statistically significant). Time to first biopsy-proven rejection was significantly longer in the TAC group (intention-to-treat analysis, n=233, log-rank test P<0.0001; per-protocol analysis, n=150, log-rank test P=0.0003). In patients who underwent a change of primary immunosuppression (n=49), a significantly longer time to first biopsy-proven rejection was also found in the primary TAC subgroup (log-rank test P=0.0297). Further subgroup analysis in the TAC subgroups showed no statistically significant differences in time to biopsy-proven rejection under extended-release TAC compared to conventional TAC (intention-to-treat analysis, log-rank test P=0.1736).


          Our study demonstrated that a TAC-based primary immunosuppressive therapy is superior to a CSA-based immunosuppressive regimen in patients after HTX regarding time to first biopsy-proven rejection.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Revision of the 1990 working formulation for the standardization of nomenclature in the diagnosis of heart rejection.

          In 1990, an international grading system for cardiac allograft biopsies was adopted by the International Society for Heart Transplantation. This system has served the heart transplant community well, facilitating communication between transplant centers, especially with regard to patient management and research. In 2004, under the direction of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT), a multidisciplinary review of the cardiac biopsy grading system was undertaken to address challenges and inconsistencies in its use and to address recent advances in the knowledge of antibody-mediated rejection. This article summarizes the revised consensus classification for cardiac allograft rejection. In brief, the revised (R) categories of cellular rejection are as follows: Grade 0 R--no rejection (no change from 1990); Grade 1 R--mild rejection (1990 Grades 1A, 1B and 2); Grade 2 R--moderate rejection (1990 Grade 3A); and Grade 3 R--severe rejection (1990 Grades 3B and 4). Because the histologic sub-types of Quilty A and Quilty B have never been shown to have clinical significance, the "A" and "B" designations have been eliminated. Recommendations are also made for the histologic recognition and immunohistologic investigation of acute antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) with the expectation that greater standardization of the assessment of this controversial entity will clarify its clinical significance. Technical considerations in biopsy processing are also addressed. This consensus revision of the Working Formulation was approved by the ISHLT Board of Directors in December 2004.
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            The Registry of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation: Twenty-eighth Adult Heart Transplant Report--2011.

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              Calcineurin inhibitors: 40 years later, can't live without ...

              Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) revolutionized the field of organ transplantation and remain the standard of care 40 years after the discovery of cyclosporine. The early impressive results of cyclosporine in kidney transplant recipients led to its subsequent use in other organ transplant recipients and for treatment of a variety of autoimmune diseases as well. In this review, we examine the discovery of CNIs, their mechanism of action, preclinical and clinical studies with CNIs, and the usage of CNIs in nontransplant recipients. We review the mechanisms of renal toxicity associated with CNIs and the recent efforts to avoid or reduce usage of these drugs. Although minimization strategies are possible, safe, and of potential long-term benefit, complete avoidance of CNIs has proven to be more challenging than initially thought.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                09 September 2014
                : 8
                : 1307-1314
                [1 ]Department of Cardiology, Angiology, Pneumology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
                [3 ]Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Andreas O Doesch, Medizinische Klinik III, Kardiologie, Angiologie, Pulmologie, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany, Tel +49 6221 56 39 936, Fax +49 6221 56 4105, Email andreas.doesch@ 123456med.uni-heidelberg.de
                © 2014 Helmschrott et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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