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Transplant Proc. 2004 Nov;36(9):2525-31.

Update on liver transplantation using cyclosporine.

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Department of Viszeral- und Transplantationschirurgie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany.


After the introduction of cyclosporine into liver transplantation in 1983, 1-year patient survival more than doubled. Later, with the improved microemulsified formulation of cyclosporine (Neoral) more stable pharmacokinetics were achieved. Today, C(2) monitoring of cyclosporine blood levels allows a more accurate estimation of the area under the concentration-versus-time curve as the single best indicator of cyclosporine exposure. As a consequence, with better control of side effects as well as desired effects the results of cyclosporine in liver transplantation have been further improved. The introduction of mycophenolate mofetil and basiliximab/daclizumab combination therapy has provided new options for the prevention of allograft rejection. The safety profile of individual immunosuppressive regimens comes more into focus since acute allograft rejection may be controlled successfully with competing strategies. As the focus in liver transplantation is shifting toward greatly improved long-term results, late posttransplant mortality with a functioning graft is a major concern. Prevention of long-term complications associated with highly effective immunosuppressants--posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease, cytomegalovirus infection, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia-gains importance. Technical advances in living-related and cadaveric split-liver transplantation have lead to increasing use of segmental liver transplantation with the need to consider the effects of immunosuppression on liver regeneration and metabolism. The individualized orchestration of immunosuppression taking into account the underlying liver disease as well as other individual predispositions remains a future challenge.

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