Section 67
Chapter 66,610

Everolimus Initiation with Early Calcineurin Inhibitor Withdrawal in de Novo Heart Transplant Recipients: Long-term Follow-up from the Randomized SCHEDULE Study

Gustafsson, F.; Andreassen, A.K.; Andersson, B.; Eiskjær, H.; Rådegran, G.ör.; Gude, E.; Jansson, K.; Solbu, D.; Karason, K.; Arora, S.; Dellgren, G.ör.; Gullestad, L.

Transplantation 104(1): 154-164


ISSN/ISBN: 1534-6080
PMID: 30893292
DOI: 10.1097/tp.0000000000002702
Accession: 066609192

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A calcineurin inhibitor (CNI)-free immunosuppressive regimen has been demonstrated to improve renal function early after heart transplantation, but long-term outcome of such a strategy has not been well described. In the randomized SCHEDULE trial, de novo heart transplant recipients received (1) everolimus with reduced-exposure CNI (cyclosporine) followed by CNI withdrawal at week 7-11 posttransplant or (2) standard-exposure cyclosporine, both with mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroids; 95/115 randomized patients were followed up at 5-7 years posttransplant. Mean measured glomerular filtration rate was 74.7 mL/min and 62.4 mL/min with everolimus and CNI, respectively. The mean difference was in favor of everolimus by 11.8 mL/min in the intent-to-treat population (P = 0.004) and 17.2 mL/min in the per protocol population (n = 75; P < 0.001). From transplantation to last follow-up, the incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) was 77% (37/48) and 66% (31/47) (P = 0.23) with treated BPAR in 50% and 23% (P < 0.01) in the everolimus and CNI groups, respectively; no episode led to hemodynamic compromise. Coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV) assessed by coronary intravascular ultrasound was present in 53% (19/36) and 74% (26/35) of everolimus- and CNI-treated patients, respectively (P = 0.037). Graft dimensions and function were similar between the groups. Late adverse events were comparable. These results suggest that de novo heart transplant patients randomized to everolimus and low-dose CNI followed by CNI-free therapy maintain significantly better long-term renal function as well as significantly reduced CAV than patients randomized to standard CNI treatment. Increased BPAR in the everolimus group during year 1 did not impair long-term graft function.

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