Conversion to Everolimus Was Beneficial and Safe for Fast and Slow Tacrolimus Metabolizers After Renal Transplantation
Fast tacrolimus (TAC) metabolism (concentration/dose (C/D) ratio <1.05 ng/mL/mg) is a risk factor for inferior outcomes after renal transplantation (RTx) as it fosters, e.g., TAC-related nephrotoxicity. TAC minimization or conversion to calcineurin-inhibitor free immunosuppression are strategies to improve graft function. Hence, we hypothesized that especially patients with a low C/D ratio profit from a switch to everolimus (EVR). We analyzed data of 34 RTx recipients (17 patients with a C/D ratio <1.05 ng/mL/mg vs. 17 patients with a C/D ratio ≥1.05 ng/mL/mg) who were converted to EVR within 24 months after RTx. The initial immunosuppression consisted of TAC, mycophenolate, prednisolone, and basiliximab induction. During an observation time of 36 months after changing immunosuppression from TAC to EVR, renal function, laboratory values, and adverse effects were compared between the groups. Fast TAC metabolizers were switched to EVR 4.6 (1.5–21.9) months and slow metabolizers 3.3 (1.8–23.0) months after RTx (p = 0.838). Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) did not differ between the groups at the time of conversion (baseline). Thereafter, the eGFR in all patients increased noticeably (fast metabolizers eGFR 36 months: + 11.0 ± 11.7 (p = 0.005); and slow metabolizers eGFR 36 months: + 9.4 ± 15.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 (p = 0.049)) vs. baseline. Adverse events were not different between the groups. After the switch, eGFR values of all patients increased statistically noticeably with a tendency towards a higher increase in fast TAC metabolizers. Since conversion to EVR was safe in a three-year follow-up for slow and fast TAC metabolizers, this could be an option to protect fast metabolizers from TAC-related issues.
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