When used in conjunction with steroids and cyclosporin, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) has been shown to significantly reduce mortality and incidence of rejection in the first year after heart transplantation. It also appears that in this early post-transplantation period, the monitoring of immunosuppressive therapies may be warranted. The current study was undertaken to determine if such monitoring is still useful more than 1 yr after heart transplantation.Twenty-six patients who had survived the first year after orthotopic heart transplantation and had been on MMF therapy for more than 3 months were prospectively followed. At the time of their routine endomyocardial biopsy blood samples were taken to monitor immunosuppressive therapy. Most patients had two samples taken, on average 109 d apart.There were 22 episodes of asymptomatic rejection documented on a total of 48 biopsies. Of these, only two were of ISHLT (International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation) grade 3A the remainder being of ISHLT grades 1 or 2. There was no relation between immunosuppressive regimen (tacrolimus and MMF or cyclosporin and MMF) and rejection. There was no relation between monitored immunosuppressive levels and rejection. Patients with the combination of MMF and tacrolimus had significantly higher plasma mycophenolic acid levels despite significantly lower daily MMF dose.There does not appear to be a benefit in continued monitoring of plasma mycophenolic acid levels beyond the first year of heart transplantation. There were significant differences in plasma mycophenolic acid levels depending on the type of calcineurin inhibitor concomitantly used.
View details for Web of Science ID 000176236300008
View details for PubMedID 12010143