Progression of Interstitial Fibrosis and Tubular Atrophy in Low Immunological Risk Renal Transplants Monitored by Sequential Surveillance Biopsies: The Influence of TAC Exposure and Metabolism
The combination of tacrolimus (TAC) and mycophenolate is the most widely employed maintenance immunosuppression in renal transplants. Different surrogates of tacrolimus exposure or metabolism such as tacrolimus trough levels (TAC-C0), coefficient of variation of tacrolimus (CV-TAC-C0), time in therapeutic range (TTR), and tacrolimus concentration dose ratio (C/D) have been associated with graft outcomes. We explore in a cohort of low immunological risk renal transplants (n = 85) treated with TAC, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and steroids and then monitored by paired surveillance biopsies the association between histological lesions and TAC-C0 at the time of biopsy as well as CV-TAC-C0, TTR, and C/D during follow up. Interstitial inflammation (i-Banff score ≥ 1) in the first surveillance biopsy was associated with TAC-C0 (odds ratio (OR): 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.50–0.96; p = 0.027). In the second surveillance biopsy, inflammation was associated with time below the therapeutic range (OR: 1.05 and 95% CI: 1.01–1.10; p = 0.023). Interstitial inflammation in scarred areas (i-IFTA score ≥ 1) was not associated with surrogates of TAC exposure/metabolism. Progression of interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy (IF/TA) was observed in 35 cases (41.2%). Multivariate regression logistic analysis showed that mean C/D (OR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.25–0.92; p = 0.026) and IF/TA in the first biopsy (OR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.24–0.77, p = 0.005) were associated with IF/TA progression between biopsies. A low C/D ratio is associated with IF/TA progression, suggesting that TAC nephrotoxicity may contribute to fibrosis progression in well immunosuppressed patients. Our data support that TAC exposure is associated with inflammation in healthy kidney areas but not in scarred tissue.
Coefficient of variation; Protocol biopsies; Renal transplantation
Chamoun B, Torres IB, Gabaldón A, Sellarés J, Perelló M, Castellá E, et al. Progression of Interstitial Fibrosis and Tubular Atrophy in Low Immunological Risk Renal Transplants Monitored by Sequential Surveillance Biopsies: The Influence of TAC Exposure and Metabolism. J Clin Med. 2021 Jan 4;10(1):141.
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