Clinical outcome in cardiac transplant recipients receiving tacrolimus retard

U. Fuchs*, Armin Zittermann, S. Ensminger, B. Schulze, K. Hakim-Meibodi, J. Gummert, U. Schulz

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)


Tacrolimus (TAC) retard is a new oral formulation of TAC that is given once instead of twice daily. We investigated the efficacy and safety of TAC retard in heart transplant recipients during a 36-month follow-up period. We included 11 patients receiving TAC retard (once-daily [OD] group) and 11 age- and sex-matched patients receiving TAC (twice-daily [TD] group). The primary endpoint was a composite of death, graft loss, and drug discontinuation (treatment failure). Secondary endpoints were biopsy-proven rejection, malignancy, infection, and safety parameters determined on the basis of laboratory evaluations. In the OD and TD groups, the primary endpoint was reached by 18.2% and 45.54% of patients, respectively (P =.277). In detail, 3-year survivals were 90.0% and 70.0% (P =.291) and freedom from drug discontinuation 90.9% and 77.9% (P =.533), respectively. Freedom from biopsy-proven rejection, malignancy, and infection were similar between the groups. Moreover, biochemical parameters of kidney and liver function, hematologic parameters, and C-reactive protein levels were similar. Despite a remarkably higher prescribed dose, blood trough levels of TAC were below the lower target value in several patients of the OD group at the end of the follow-up period, but in none of the patients in the TD group. In conclusion, this small 3-year follow-up study suggests efficacy and safety in patients receiving TAC retard similar to those in patients receiving TAC. Nevertheless, the required dose of TAC retard for achieving acceptable blood trough levels should be investigated in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2000-2004
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 06.2013


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