Background: There is little evidence on the long-term effects of calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) withdrawal and substitution with everolimus and mycophenolate mofetil in maintenance therapy of patients who have received heart transplants and have concurrent CNI nephrotoxicity. Aims of this study were to evaluate the progression of renal dysfunction after discontinuation of CNIs and to monitor for major adverse events after therapy change. Methods: Data from 41 patients who underwent heart transplant and have different degrees of renal dysfunction (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 mL/min/1.73 m2), without evidence of proteinuria, and in whom CNI therapy was replaced by everolimus, were analyzed. At the time of CNI withdrawal, clinical parameters, echocardiographic data, blood tests of renal function, and monitoring of adverse events were recorded. The median follow-up period was 5 years ± 28 months. Results: In 52% of patients, there was a clear improvement in renal function (10.5 mL/min/1.73 m2 of extra eGFR on average). The former were characterized by less advanced age and a short time from the heart transplant. The echocardiographic parameters showed a significant reduction in septum thickness (11.58 ± 2 mm vs 10.29 ± 2 mm; P = .0001) and in left ventricle posterior wall thickness (10.74 ± 1 mm vs 9.74 ± 1 mm; P = .0004). The incidence of late acute rejection and cardiac allograft vasculopathy was similar in our population compared to literature data. Conclusions: A therapeutic switch from CNIs to everolimus and mycophenolate mofetil can improve renal function in patients with CNI nephrotoxicity, especially in those with a shorter time period from transplantation, without exposing them to a higher incidence of late acute rejection and cardiac allograft vasculopathy.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - Jan 1 2020|
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