Steroid withdrawal after heart transplantation in adults


Corticosteroids (CSs) are a key component of immunosuppressive treatment after heart transplantation (HTx). While effectively preventing acute rejection, several adverse effects including diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, and hyperlipidemia are associated with long-term use. As these complications may impair long-term outcome in HTx recipients, withdrawal of CSs is highly desirable, however, no uniform approach exists. Previous experience suggests that CS withdrawal can be accomplished without an increase in the incidence of acute rejection and even carrying a survival benefit. Also, common complications related to long-term CS use appear to be less frequent following CS discontinuation. Recipients who successfully discontinue CSs, however, likely belong to an immune-privileged subset of patients with low risk of post-transplant complications. Available studies evaluating CS withdrawal are highly heterogeneous and consensus on optimal timing and eligibility for withdrawal is lacking. Efforts to improve the understanding of optimal CS withdrawal strategy are of great importance in order to safely promote CS weaning in eligible patients and thereby alleviate the adverse effects of long-term CS use on post-transplant outcomes. The purpose of this review was to evaluate different protocols of CS withdrawal after HTx in terms of clinical outcomes and to explore criteria for successful CS withdrawal.

TidsskriftTransplant international : official journal of the European Society for Organ Transplantation
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)2469-2482
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021


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