Conversion from calcineurin inhibitors to mTOR inhibitors as primary immunosuppressive drugs in pediatric heart transplantation

Alfred Asante-Korang, Jennifer Carapellucci, Diane Krasnopero, Abigail Doyle, Brian Brown, Ernest Amankwah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are only a few reports of successful use of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTORI) as primary immunosuppression in pediatric heart transplantation. Compared to calcineurin inhibitors, mTORI have less side effects, especially nephrotoxicity, infections, and malignancies. A retrospective study was conducted at our institution of all 170 heart transplants from 1995 to 2015. Nineteen patients were switched from tacrolimus (n=15) or cyclosporin (n=4) to everolimus (n=4) or sirolimus (n=15) due to nephrotoxicity (n=5), malignancy (n=8), EBV viremia/reactive plasmacytic changes (n=5), and immune hemolytic anemia (n=1). We monitored for rejection, infection, BUN, creatinine, hyperlipidemia, EBV and CMV copies, CBC, cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), and death. Target trough levels of sirolimus and everolimus were 4-10. Four treatment failures included debilitating rash, bone marrow suppression, recurrent rejection, and renal transplantation. There were no deaths. One patient had recurrent rejection episodes, and tacrolimus was reinitiated. One patient with preexisting CAV underwent heart retransplantation. One patient, who was treated for PTLD, transformed to CD30+ Hodgkins disease, and was treated with brentuximab. There were three acute rejection episodes. Median creatinine preswitch was higher 0.82 than postswitch 0.78 (P=.016). Median eGFR was lower preswitch, 75.6, than postswitch, 91.2 (P=.0004). These results indicate that conversion to mTORI as primary immunosuppression may be safely accomplished in some pediatric heart transplant patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13054
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • calcineurin inhibitors
  • conversion
  • cyclosporin
  • everolimus
  • immunosuppression
  • mTOR inhibitors
  • sirolimus
  • tacrolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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