Current practices: Immunosuppression induction, maintenance, and rejection regimens in contemporary post-heart transplant patient treatment

D. A. Baran, I. D. Galin, A. L. Gass

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cardiac transplantation is the definitive treatment for eligible patients with end-stage cardiomyopathy. Survival rates have improved dramatically during the last 10 years, especially since the advent of cyclosporine-A. Cardiac allograft rejection, previously considered a major cause of early mortality after transplantation, is no longer the limiting factor for early survival, with the use of newer and more specific immunosuppression regimens. Very few randomized, prospective trials, including comparisons between immunosuppression regimens, have been conducted in this area. Therefore, practices vary with physician and institutional experience. Most centers use a multipronged approach to immunosuppression, targeting multiple sites in the immune cascade that lead to allograft rejection. Multiple new agents in development are reviewed. Drugs such as sirolimus and its derivative, everolimus, act on specific intracellular receptors within lymphocytes, whereas other medications such as Daclizumab (Roche Laboratories, Nutley, NJ) block the interleukin-2 receptor on the surface of activated T cells. The immune response to foreign antigens is complex, with multiple redundant levels. Immunosuppression regimens continue to seek a fine balance between overimmunosuppression and insufficient protection, which may lead to allograft rejection or loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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