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Karim Sallam, Geetha P. Bhumireddy, Vishnu D. Evuri, Joshua P. Abella, Francois Haddad, Hannah A. Valentine, Patricia K. Nguyen, Michael X. Pham
(Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA)
Ann Transplant 2021; 26:e923536
Sirolimus has been used increasingly in heart transplantation for its ability to reduce acute rejection, prevent the progression of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), and preserve renal function. We sought to assess the adverse reactions associated with the use of sirolimus compared to mycophenolate mofetil (MMF).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 221 adult heart transplant patients who received either sirolimus or MMF as part of their immunosuppression from June 1, 2001 to April 1, 2005. Patients were assigned to 2 groups based upon immunosuppression use. The prevalence and types of complications were recorded in each group.
RESULTS: Sirolimus was received by 109 patients and 112 patients received MMF during the study period. Seventy-seven patients (71%) in the sirolimus group experienced adverse reactions compared to 45 patients (40%) in the MMF group (P<0.01). Compared to MMF, the use of sirolimus was associated with a higher prevalence of elevated triglyceride levels, lower-extremity edema, and oral ulcerations. Sirolimus was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 22% of patients, whereas no patients in the MMF group experienced adverse effects requiring drug discontinuation.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to MMF, sirolimus use is associated with a higher prevalence of adverse reactions requiring drug discontinuation, but most patients were able to stay on therapy despite adverse effects.