Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics

Exposure to mycophenolic acid better predicts immunosuppressive efficacy than exposure to calcineurin inhibitors in renal transplant patients.

PMID 24968086


A time-to-event model was developed to study the predictive factors of immunosuppressive efficacy in renal transplant patients and to investigate longitudinal calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) and mycophenolic acid (MPA) coexposures and patient characteristics as potential covariates. The efficacy end point included acute rejection (AR), graft loss, and death. Data from 222 patients were analyzed: 23 events were observed in 126 patients receiving cyclosporine as compared with 15 events in 96 patients receiving tacrolimus (P = 0.61) in the first 2 years posttransplantation. Each 1-mg·h/l increase of MPA area under the plasma concentration vs. time curve was associated with a 4% decreased risk of an event (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.96; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93-0.99). The onset of cytomegalovirus infection/disease significantly increased this risk (HR = 10.9; 95% CI: 6.5-21.7). Within the observed ranges, CNI exposures were not significantly associated with efficacy (i.e., AR, graft loss, and death). This work advocates the avoidance of unnecessary high CNI dosing and puts forward new arguments for MPA concentration monitoring.