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Transplant Proc. 2019 Aug 7. pii: S0041-1345(18)31842-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2019.01.149. [Epub ahead of print]

Once- vs Twice-Daily Tacrolimus: Survival Rates and Side Effects: Single-Center Experience.

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Department of General Surgery, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Nephrology, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address:
Department of Nephrology, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Nephrology, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.



This study aimed to determine whether de novo, prolonged-release tacrolimus- (PR-tacro) based immunosuppressive regimen affected graft and patient survival when compared to an immediate-release, twice-daily, tacrolimus- (IR-tacro) based regimen in kidney transplant recipients. We also aimed to determine the difference between the frequency of side effects, including diabetes control, in study groups.


A total of 115 standard risk kidney transplant recipients were enrolled in this single center, retrospective study. Fifty-two patients received PR-tacro and 63 patients received IR-tacro as a calcineurin inhibitor. The primary outcome measures included incidence of graft loss and delayed graft function (DGF), biopsy-proven acute rejection , graft and patient survival, and creatinine clearance. Secondary outcome measures included the incidence of non-adherence, drug-induced tremor; post-transplant diabetes mellitus diagnosis rate; and control of diabetes in pre-transplant diabetic patients.


Baseline characteristics and mean tacrolimus trough levels were comparable between groups. Incidence of graft loss, DGF, and graft and patient survival were similar between groups (P > .05). Mean creatinine clearance level was also similar (P > .05). Mean serum levels of fasting glucose (P < .05) and A1C (P < .05) were lower in PR-tacro group when compared to IR-tacro group. Post-transplant diabetes mellitus diagnosis rate was also lower in PR-tacro group when compared to IR-tacro group (P = .040).


This study suggests that there is no statistically significant difference between PR-tacro and IR-tacro in terms of patient and graft survival, DGF, and biopsy-proven acute rejection rates in kidney transplant recipients. Post-transplant diabetes mellitus frequency is lower in non-diabetic patients, and glucose metabolism control is better in diabetic patients.

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