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Transplant Direct. 2018 Sep 7;4(10):e392. doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000000824. eCollection 2018 Oct.

Long-term Immunosuppression Adherence After Kidney Transplant and Relationship to Allograft Histology.

Author information

1
William J von Liebig Center for Transplantation and Clinical Regeneration, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
2
Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
3
Mayo Clinic Specialty Pharmacy, Rochester, MN.

Abstract

Background:

Nonadherence to immunosuppression after kidney transplant is an important contributor to graft failure. Little is known about how nonadherence changes 3 years posttransplant when Medicare coverage of immunosuppression ends and how that nonadherence impacts allograft histology. The goal of this study was to compare rates of nonadherence during posttransplant years 1 to 3 to years 3 to 5 and examine the relationship between nonadherence during years 3 to 5 and 5-year allograft histology.

Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed 552 conventional kidney allografts in patients transplanted at our center between January 1, 1999, and June 1, 2010, who used the Mayo Clinic Specialty Pharmacy for the first 5 years posttransplant. Nonadherence was defined as less than 80% proportion of days covered. Overall adherence to immunosuppression appeared to be higher during years 3 and 5 compared to between years 1 and 3 (89.4% vs 82.9%, respectively; P < 0.0001 [paired t test]).

Results:

Overall nonadherence during posttransplant years 3 to 5 appeared to be associated with fibrosis and inflammation on 5-year allograft biopsy but not with transplant glomerulopathy (16.9% vs 5.9%, P = 0.004; 10.4% vs 8.5%, P = 0.61, respectively). After adjusting for nonadherence to calcineurin inhibitor and prednisone therapy, only nonadherence to antimetabolite therapy remained significantly associated with 5-year fibrosis and inflammation (odds ratio, 10.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-76.1; P = 0.02).

Conclusions:

Efforts to improve long-term adherence, possibly through the use of specialty pharmacies and increased adherence to antimetabolite therapy, may improve long-term allograft histology and survival, although further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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