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Transplantation. 2013 Jan 15;95(1):215-21. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318279090c.

Sirolimus and cardiovascular disease risk in liver transplantation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75246, USA. greg.mckenna@baylorhealth.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Two adverse effects of sirolimus are hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia. These elevated levels often lead clinicians to discontinue the sirolimus from concerns of an increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk; however, evidence suggests that sirolimus might be cardioprotective. There are no published reports of sirolimus CVD in liver transplantation.

METHODS:

We reviewed all 1812 liver recipients who underwent transplantation from 1998 to 2010, identifying a cohort using sirolimus as part of the initial immunosuppression (SRL Cohort) and a control group of the remaining patients from this period where SRL was never given (Non-SRL Control). A prospectively maintained database identified all episodes of myocardial infarction (MI), congestive heart failure (CHF), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), and cerebrovascular accident and tracked triglyceride, high-density and low-density lipoproteins, and total cholesterol levels. A Framingham Risk Model calculated the predicted 10-year risk of CVD for both groups.

RESULTS:

The SRL Cohort (n=406) is older, more predominantly male, with more pretransplantation hypertension and diabetes and posttransplantation hypertension compared to Non-SRL Controls (n=1005). The SRL Cohort has significantly higher triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein, and cholesterol levels at 6 months and 1 year. There is no difference in MI incidence in the SRL Cohort (1.0% vs. 1.2%) and no difference in AAA, cerebrovascular accident, and CHF. The Framingham Risk Model predicts that the SRL Cohort should have almost double the 10-year risk of CVD compared to the Non-SRL Control (11% vs. 6%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Sirolimus causes hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia, but it does not increase the incidence of MI or other CVDs. Considering the SRL Cohort has more cardiac risk factors and nearly double 10-year predicted CVD risk, the fact that the CVD incidence is similar suggests that sirolimus is in fact cardioprotective.

PMID:
23232369
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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