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Clin Biochem. 2004 Jun;37(6):424-8.

Immunosuppressive drug monitoring of sirolimus and cyclosporine in pediatric patients.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, George-August-University Göttingen, and University Children's Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.


Sirolimus is primarily used as a rescue agent in pediatric transplant recipients, particularly in cases of cyclosporine or tacrolimus toxicity. Preliminary data indicate a higher apparent oral clearance in younger children (4-10 years of age). Various drug interactions have been described between sirolimus and drugs that are substrates/inhibitors or inducers of CYP3A and the P-glycoprotein transporter. Close monitoring of trough sirolimus blood levels is therefore recommended for pediatric transplant recipients. In de novo adult kidney transplant recipients on triple therapy with cyclosporine, corticosteroids and sirolimus, a therapeutic window of 4-12 microg/l is recommended for sirolimus trough concentrations determined by HPLC or LC/MS-MS. In maintenance adult patients after conversion to a calcineurin inhibitor-free regimen, sirolimus trough concentrations of 5-10 microg/l are proposed in combination with mycophenolate mofetil. These therapeutic ranges may also serve as a guide for pediatric renal transplant recipients. The concept of C2 monitoring still needs to be critically evaluated in pediatric patients. The crucial importance of achieving an adequate cyclosporine exposure early after transplantation has been demonstrated for adult transplant recipients. A cyclosporine concentration taken 2 h after dosing is a good surrogate marker of the AUC0-4h in adults. Various clinical studies have shown that in pediatric patients, the C2 concentration shows a substantially better correlation with cyclosporine exposure compared to the trough level (C0). In an outcome study with pediatric renal transplant recipients, it could be demonstrated that the AUC(0-4h) was a predictor of acute rejection in the first 3 weeks after transplantation, whereas C2 levels showed no significant association. Abbreviated AUC strategies may be preferable for optimization of CsA exposure in pediatric patients.

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