BACKGROUND AND AIMS: This multicenter trial compared immediate-release tacrolimus (IR-T) vs prolonged-release tacrolimus (PR-T) in de novo kidney, liver, and heart transplant recipients aged <16 years. Each formulation had similar pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles. Follow-up efficacy and safety results are reported herein.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients, randomized 1:1, received once-daily, PR-T or twice-daily, IR-T within 4 days of surgery. After a 4-week PK assessment, patients continued randomized treatment for 48 additional weeks. At Year 1, efficacy assessments included the number of clinical acute rejections, biopsy-confirmed acute rejection (BCAR) episodes (including severity), patient and graft survival, and efficacy failure (composite of death, graft loss, BCAR, or unknown outcome). Adverse events were assessed throughout.
RESULTS: The study included 44 children. At Year 1, mean ± standard deviation tacrolimus trough levels were 6.6 ± 2.2 and 5.4 ± 1.6 ng/mL, and there were 2 and 7 acute rejection episodes in the PR-T and IR-T groups, respectively. No cases of graft loss or death were reported during the study. The overall efficacy failure rate was 18.2% (PR-T n = 1; IR-T n = 7).
CONCLUSIONS: In pediatric de novo solid organ recipients, the low incidence of BCAR and low efficacy failure rate suggest that PR-T-based immunosuppression is effective and well tolerated to 1-year post-transplantation.