Long-term Follow-up of a Randomized Trial of Tacrolimus or Cyclosporine A Microemulsion in Children Post Liver Transplantation

Carla Lloyd, Adam Arshad, Paloma Jara, Martin Burdelski, Bruno Gridelli, J Manzanares, Michele Colledan, Emmanuel Jacquemin, Raymond Reding, Ulrich Baumann, Deirdre Kelly

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The aim of this study was to determine the long-term efficacy and safety of tacrolimus (Tac) and cyclosporine immunosuppression in pediatric liver transplantation (LTx).

Methods: One hundred fifty-six patients who had taken part in a multicenter, randomized, open, parallel study of Tac and corticosteroids versus cyclosporine A microemulsion (CyA-ME), corticosteroids, and azathioprine. Patients were assessed at regular intervals up to 14 y after LTx. Analysis was conducted descriptively.

Results: In a long-term follow-up, there was a similar incidence of acute rejection (Tac versus CyA-ME, 5 versus 8) and graft loss (5 versus 10). There were 11 deaths in the cohort, which were from infectious complications/malignancy in the Tac group (n = 2/5) and from chronic rejection/liver failure in the CyA-ME group (n = 3/6). A similar incidence of Epstein-Barr virus and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease was observed (8 versus 8, 3 versus 3). However, there was a greater incidence of cosmetic adverse events in the CyA-ME cohort, with higher incidences of hypertrichosis (8 versus 27) and gum hyperplasia (20 versus 6). Growth improved equally in both groups. Overall, 81% of patients randomized to Tac remained on Tac therapy at study end, compared with 31% of patients randomized to CyA-ME. Common reasons for switching from CyA-ME included steroid-resistant/acute rejection (n = 12/8) and cosmetic changes (n = 8).

Conclusions: This study is the first prospective, observational follow-up study of pediatric patients randomized to Tac and CyA-ME to evaluate long-term outcomes. Our analysis was limited by the degree of switchover between the cohorts; however, there were fewer deaths from chronic rejection/liver failure and reduced adverse events with Tac. Long-term use of Tac and Tac combination therapy appears to be safe and effective immunosuppression for pediatric LTx recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere765
JournalTransplantation direct
Issue number10
Early online date20 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Transplantation Direct. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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