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Am J Transplant ; 2022 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973539


A recent study concluded that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine responses were improved among transplant patients taking mTOR inhibitors (mTORi). This could have profound implications for vaccine strategies in transplant patients; however, limitations in the study design raise concerns about the conclusions. To address this issue more robustly, in a large cohort with appropriate adjustment for confounders, we conducted various regression- and machine learning-based analyses to compare antibody responses by immunosuppressive agents in a national cohort (n = 1037). MMF was associated with significantly lower odds of positive antibody response (aOR = 0.09 0.130.18 ). Consistent with the recent mTORi study, the odds tended to be higher with mTORi (aOR = 1.00 1.452.13 ); however, importantly, this seemingly protective tendency disappeared (aOR = 0.47 0.731.12 ) after adjusting for MMF. We repeated this comparison by combinations of immunosuppression agents. Compared to MMF + tacrolimus, MMF-free regimens were associated with higher odds of positive antibody response (aOR = 2.39 4.267.92 for mTORi+tacrolimus; 2.34 5.5415.32 for mTORi-only; and 6.78 10.2515.93 for tacrolimus-only), whereas MMF-including regimens were not, regardless of mTORi use (aOR = 0.81 1.542.98 for MMF + mTORi; and 0.81 1.512.87 for MMF-only). We repeated these analyses in an independent cohort (n = 512) and found similar results. Our study demonstrates that the recently reported findings were confounded by MMF, and that mTORi is not independently associated with improved vaccine responses.

Transplantation ; 105(1): 170-176, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889649


BACKGROUND: Kidney transplant recipients have higher risk of infectious diseases due to their reliance on immunosuppression. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, some clinicians might have opted for less potent immunosuppressive agents to counterbalance the novel infectious risk. We conducted a nationwide study to characterize immunosuppression use and subsequent clinical outcomes during the first 5 months of COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. METHODS: Using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, we studied all kidney-only recipients in the United States from January 1, 2017, to March 12, 2020 ("prepandemic" era; n = 64 849) and from March 13, 2020, to July 31, 2020 ("pandemic" era; n = 5035). We compared the use of lymphocyte-depleting agents (versus basiliximab or no induction) and maintenance steroids (versus steroid avoidance/withdrawal) in the pandemic era compared with the prepandemic era. Then, we compared early posttransplant outcomes by immunosuppression regimen during the pandemic era. RESULTS: Recipients in the pandemic era were substantially less likely to receive lymphocyte-depleting induction agents compared with their prepandemic counterparts (aOR = 0.400.530.69); similar trends were found across subgroups of state-level COVID-19 incidence, donor type, and recipient age. However, lymphocyte-depleting induction agents were associated with decreased rejection during admission (aOR = but not with increased mortality in the pandemic era (aHR = 0.130.471.66). On the other hand, the use of maintenance steroids versus early steroid withdrawal remained similar (aOR = 0.711.071.62). CONCLUSIONS: The use of lymphocyte-depleting induction agents has decreased in favor of basiliximab and no induction during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this shift might have resulted in increases in rejection with no clear reductions in posttransplant mortality.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Kidney Transplantation/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Lymphocyte Depletion , Male , Middle Aged