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Pediatr Transplant. 2001 Apr;5(2):112-8.

Mycophenolate mofetil in pediatric heart transplant recipients: a single-center experience.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology, Pediatric Academic Multiorgan Transplant Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8.


Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is emerging as an effective agent for the treatment of both established rejection and primary rejection prophylaxis in solid-organ transplantation (Tx). However, little data is available on the use of MMF in the pediatric population. We therefore report on our experience with MMF in 21 pediatric heart transplant recipients. Data were obtained by retrospective chart review. Median age at time of review was 12.3 yr (range 11 months to 16.9 yr). Median age at Tx was 10.7 yr (range 55 days to 16.7 yr). MMF was started at a median of 4.3 months after Tx (range 1 day to 4.5 yr). At the time of MMF institution, all patients were concurrently on prednisone and azathioprine; 20 of these patients were also undergoing treatment with tacrolimus (median dose 0.18 mg/kg, range 0.03-0.64 mg/kg) and one with cyclo-sporin A (10 mg/kg). Azathioprine was discontinued at the time of commencing MMF. The average MMF dose was 40 +/- 14 mg/kg. The rationale for switching to MMF included rejection (International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation [ISHLT] 3A/B), 66%; inability to wean steroids, 14%; ABO blood group donor-recipient mismatch, 10%; coronary artery disease (CAD), 5%; and side-effects of immuno-suppression, 5%. Of the patients switched for rejection, 93% demonstrated resolved or improving rejection. Both ABO donor-recipient mismatch patients were started on tacrolimus/MMF as primary therapy and had no significant episodes of rejection. Two patients had rejection classified as unchanged (one with CAD, one treated with addition of sirolimus prior to improvement). Corticosteroids were successfully discontinued in 28% of patients, and 20% are currently on a reduced dose. Fourteen per cent developed significant rejection while attempting to reduce the steroid dose. Steroid reduction has not yet been attempted in 38% of patients. The following side-effects were reported in 38% of the patients: diarrhea, 10%; gastrointestinal discomfort, 20%; and leukopenia, 20%. Dose reduction or temporary discontinuation was required in 63% of the patients who experienced side-effects (24% of the total number of patients). Opportunistic infections developed in 10% (cryptococcus, cytomegalovirus). Hence, MMF appears to be effective for treatment of rejection in the pediatric heart transplant population and has an acceptable side-effect profile. In addition, it may have a role in primary rejection prophylaxis and may facilitate a reduced steroid dosage or a steroid-free immunosuppression regimen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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