Substitution of cyclosporin with tacrolimus should be considered for paediatric liver transplant recipients with cyclosporin-associated complications such as hypertension, gum hyperplasia, hirsutism, gynaecomastia and growth retardation, as well as recurrent or refractory acute rejection, chronic duct injury or chronic rejection. Continued experience with well tolerated drug administration and careful monitoring during drug substitution has limited drug toxicity associated with tacrolimus to a level comparable to or less than that associated with cyclosporin. Successful outcome with long term graft salvage has been reported in up to 80% of patients converted to tacrolimus because of acute rejection and 50% of patients converted because of chronic rejection. Nearly all children converted because of cyclosporin-related complications have a successful outcome. Additional benefits of conversion to tacrolimus include improvement in growth and resolution of hypertension, hirsutism and cushingoid facies. Complete corticosteroid withdrawal is possible in up to 78% of children post-conversion. Long term outcome in these patients may be optimised by conversion to tacrolimus at an early stage of acute or chronic transplant rejection in order to minimise the cumulative amount of immunosuppression. Avoidance of cyclosporin-related toxicity and minimisation of corticosteroid therapy may further improve patient compliance to drug therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pharmacology (medical)