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eISSN: 2329-0358

Early Sirolimus-Based Immunosuppression is Safe for Lung Transplantation Patients: Retrospective, Single Arm, Exploratory Study

Jacek Wojarski, Sławomir Żegleń, Marek Ochman, Wojtek Karolak

(Department of Cardiac, Vascular, and Endovascular Surgery and Transplantology, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases, Zabrze, Poland)

Ann Transplant 2018; 23:598-607

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.908471

Published: 2018-08-23


BACKGROUND: Sirolimus, a mechanistic target of sirolimus inhibitor, is an immunosuppression medication for patients undergoing heart and abdominal transplantation. Sirolimus-based immunosuppression administered de novo post-lung transplantation is associated with bronchial anastomosis healing-related complications. We hypothesized that sirolimus administration within the first postoperative month in selected lung transplant recipients is safe and may be associated with favorable short-term and long-term outcomes due to its anti-proliferative properties and minimal adverse side effects.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirteen patients (13.3%; mean age, 46.8±11.9 years) received early sirolimus-based immunosuppression along with cyclosporine and prednisone; 10 patients received single-lung transplantation, 3 received double-lung transplantation, and all received induction immunosuppressants. Patients received early sirolimus-based immunosuppression after an uncomplicated postoperative course and detailed bronchoscopic assessment.
RESULTS: Sirolimus was begun on a mean of 20.6±4.7 days postoperatively (range, 14–32 days). The in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate was 0%. At long-term follow-up, 5 patients died (due to bacterial infection in 4 patients and pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in 1 patient). The mean overall survival was 4.4±2.53 (range, 0.8–10.0) years, 1-year survival was 92%, and 5-year survival was 62%. In 4 patients (30.8%), sirolimus was stopped due to infection in 3 patients and re-transplantation in 1 patient. Only one of the 13 patients developed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. In patients still taking sirolimus, renal function, systolic blood pressure, and lipid profile were within normal ranges; however, these patients required statin therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: In selected lung transplant recipients, early sirolimus-based immunosuppression is safe and associated with beneficial short-term and long-term outcomes.

Keywords: Immunosuppression, Lung Transplantation, Organ Transplantation, Sirolimus, TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases



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