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Transplantation. 1994 May 27;57(10):1479-83.

Relation of cyclosporine blood levels to adverse effects on lipoproteins.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.


Hyperlipidemia is common in renal allograft recipients. To elucidate the role of cyclosporine in posttransplant hyperlipidemia, we measured lipids, lipoprotein lipids, and apolipoproteins of thirty-five renal allograft recipients and evaluated their relation to trough cyclosporine blood levels. All patients were on a triple immunosuppressive regimen with equal doses of prednisone and azathioprine, and had stable graft function. Cyclosporine blood levels were significantly correlated to total plasma cholesterol (P = 0.028), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.022), apolipoprotein B (P = 0.017), and the cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (P < 0.002), but not to plasma triglycerides. Significant inverse correlations were found between cyclosporine blood levels and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.034), high-density lipoprotein3 cholesterol (P = 0.025), and apolipoprotein A-1 (P = 0.047), but not high-density lipoprotein2 cholesterol. The independent relation of cyclosporine blood levels to each of the measured lipid parameters was investigated by a stepwise regression model including age, body mass index, interval from transplantation, diabetes mellitus, plasma creatinine, and intake of diuretics and beta-blockers. After correction for these 7 variables, cyclosporine blood levels remained significantly associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein3 cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-1, apolipoprotein B, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. These data suggest that cyclosporine causes atherogenic dyslipidemia.

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