Journal Article

Low tacrolimus concentrations and increased risk of early acute rejection in adult renal transplantation

Christine Staatz, Paul Taylor and Susan Tett

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 16, issue 9, pages 1905-1909
Published in print September 2001 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online September 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/16.9.1905
Low tacrolimus concentrations and increased risk of early acute rejection in adult renal transplantation

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Background. A retrospective analysis was performed on adult renal transplant recipients to evaluate the relationship between tacrolimus trough concentrations and the development of rejection in the first month after transplant.

Methods. A total of 349 concentrations from 29 patients, measured by enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), were recorded. Based on an increased serum creatinine, 12 patients were considered to have organ rejection. Rejection was confirmed by biopsy in five of these. The median trough concentration of tacrolimus over the first month of therapy, or until the time of first rejection was compared in rejecters vs non‐rejecters.

Results. Median trough concentrations of tacrolimus were found to be lower in biopsy‐proven rejecters vs non‐rejecters (P=0.03) and all rejecters vs non‐rejecters (P=0.04). The average median concentration (±SD) in the biopsy‐proven rejecter group was 5.09±1.16 ng/ml, compared to 9.20±3.52 ng/ml in the non‐rejecter group. After exclusion of an outlier, the average median concentration in all rejecters was 5.57±1.47 ng/ml, compared with 9.20±3.52 ng/ml in non‐rejecters. A rejection rate of 55% was found for patients with a median trough concentration between 0 and 10 ng/ml. This compared with no observed rejection in patients with a median concentration between 10 and 15 ng/ml.

Conclusion. A significant relationship exists between organ rejection and median tacrolimus trough concentrations in the first month post‐transplant, with patients displaying low concentrations more likely to reject. In order to minimize rejection in the first month after renal transplantation, trough concentrations greater than 10 ng/ml must be achieved.

Keywords: adult renal transplant; concentration; biopsy‐proven rejection; pharmacodynamics; tacrolimus; therapeutic drug monitoring

Journal Article.  3131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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