Trends in immunosuppressive therapy: a report of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS).
The North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS) data registry has now compiled data for 11 years, and includes data on 6038 renal transplants in 5516 patients. With the availability of new data and immunosuppressive medications, trends in their usage continue to change. NAPRTCS data have previously demonstrated that increased doses of cyclosporin A (CsA) are associated with improved allograft outcomes, and there has been a steady increase in the dose of CsA given post-transplantation. Transplants that occurred in 1987, 1989, 1991, and 1993 received a mean one-year post-transplant dose of 6.5, 7.0, 7.7, and 8.2 mg/kg/d, respectively. In the 1995 cohort, the dose decreased to 7.4 mg/kg/d. Since the introduction of Neoral, its use has steadily increased. Of the 1997 cohort, 81% report Neoral as the formulation of CsA used. The dose of CsA given, however, has not changed. At day 30 post-transplant, the dose was 7.0 mg/kg/d for Sandimmune and 7.4 mg/kg/d for Neoral. Finally, the outcome in black transplant patients is inferior to that of nonblack. Evaluation of CsA blood levels revealed that at 1 year post-transplant, black patients consistently have CsA levels higher than nonblacks, and a lower percentage of black patients have a CsA level < 100 ng/mL. The percentage of patients using triple therapy (prednisone, azathioprine, and CsA) remained stable from 1987 to 1993 at 80-85%. However, in 1996 only 30% of patients were receiving triple therapy. This is probably due to the introduction of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF). Comparing the 1996-97 cohorts, there has been no significant change in the percentage of patients receiving prednisone (96.2% vs. 95.4%) or CsA (83.1% vs. 79.6%). However, during this time, the use of azathioprine has decreased from 50.0% to 35.8%, the use of tacrolimus has increased from 2.5% to 10.8%, and the use of MMF has increased from 6.5% to 35.8%.