This study was undertaken to compare the efficacy and safety of tacrolimus (Tac) with the microemulsion formulation of cyclosporin (CyA) in children undergoing renal transplantation. A 6-month, randomized, prospective, open, parallel group study with an open extension phase was conducted in 18 centers from nine European countries. In total, 196 pediatric patients (<18 years) were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either Tac (n=103) or CyA microemulsion (n=93) administered concomitantly with azathioprine and corticosteroids. The primary endpoint was incidence and time to first acute rejection. Baseline characteristics were comparable between treatment groups. Tac therapy resulted in a significantly lower incidence of acute rejection (36.9%) compared with CyA therapy (59.1%) (P=0.003). The incidence of corticosteroid-resistant rejection was also significantly lower in the Tac group compared with the CyA group (7.8% vs. 25.8%, P=0.001). The differences were also significant for biopsy-confirmed acute rejection (16.5% vs. 39.8%, P<0.001). At 1 year, patient survival was similar (96.1% vs. 96.6%), while 10 grafts were lost in the Tac group compared with 17 graft losses in the CyA group (P=0.06). At 1 year, mean glomerular filtration rate (Schwartz estimate) was significantly higher in the Tac group (62±20 ml/min per 1.73 m2, n=84) than in the CyA group (56±21 ml/min per 1.73 m2, n=74, P=0.03). The most frequent adverse events during the first 6 months were hypertension (68.9% vs. 61.3%), hypomagnesemia (34.0% vs. 12.9%, P=0.001), and urinary tract infection (29.1% vs. 33.3%). Statistically significant differences (P<0.05) were observed for diarrhea (13.6% vs. 3.2%), hypertrichosis (0.0% vs. 7.5%), flu syndrome (0.0% vs. 5.4%), and gum hyperplasia (0.0% vs. 5.4%). In previously non-diabetic children, the incidence of long-term (>30 days) insulin use was 3.0% (Tac) and 2.2% (CyA). Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease was observed in 1 patient in the Tac group and 2 patients in the CyA group. In conclusion, Tac was significantly more effective than CyA microemulsion in preventing acute rejection after renal transplantation in a pediatric population. The overall safety profiles of the two regimens were comparable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health