Everolimus Initiation With Early Calcineurin Inhibitor Withdrawal in De Novo Heart Transplant Recipients: Long-term Follow-up From the Randomized SCHEDULE Study

Finn Gustafsson, Arne K Andreassen, Bert Andersson, Hans Eiskjær, Göran Rådegran, Einar Gude, Kjell Jansson, Dag Solbu, Kristjan Karason, Satish Arora, Göran Dellgren, Lars Gullestad, SCHEDULE (Scandinavian Heart Transplant Everolimus De Novo Study With Early Calcineurin Inhibitors Avoidance) Investigators

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: 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.

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSIONS: 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransplantation
Volume104
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
ISSN0041-1337
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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