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Drugs. 2014 Sep;74(13):1481-94. doi: 10.1007/s40265-014-0274-9.

Chronic renal insufficiency in heart transplant recipients: risk factors and management options.

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1
Heart Failure and Transplantation Unit, Cardiology Service, Instituto de Investigación Valdecilla (IDIVAL), University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, 39008, Santander, Spain, cargvf@gmail.com.

Abstract

Renal dysfunction after heart transplantation is a frequently observed complication, in some cases resulting in significant limitation of quality of life and reduced survival. Since the pathophysiology of renal failure (RF) is multifactorial, the current etiologic paradigm for chronic kidney disease after heart transplantation relies on the concept of calcineurin inhibitor (CNI)-related nephrotoxicity acting on a predisposed recipient. Until recently, the management of RF has been restricted to the minimization of CNI dosage and general avoidance of classic nephrotoxic risk factors, with somewhat limited success. The recent introduction of proliferation signal inhibitors (PSIs) (sirolimus and everolimus), a new class of immunosuppressive drugs lacking intrinsic nephrotoxicity, has provided a completely new alternative in this clinical setting. As clinical experience with these new drugs increases, new renal-sparing strategies are becoming available. PSIs can be used in combination with reduced doses of CNIs and even in complete CNI-free protocols. Different strategies have been devised, including de novo use to avoid acute renal toxicity in high-risk patients immediately after transplantation, or more delayed introduction in those patients developing chronic RF after prolonged CNI exposure. In this review, the main information on the clinical relevance and pathophysiology of RF after heart transplantation, as well as the currently available experience with renal-sparing immunosuppressive regimens, particularly focused on the use of PSIs, is reviewed and summarized, including the key practical points for their appropriate clinical usage.

PMID:
25134671
DOI:
10.1007/s40265-014-0274-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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