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Tacrolimus Therapy in Adult Heart Transplant Recipients: Evaluation of a Bayesian Forecasting Software


BACKGROUND: Therapeutic drug monitoring is recommended to guide tacrolimus dosing because of its narrow therapeutic window and considerable pharmacokinetic variability. This study assessed tacrolimus dosing and monitoring practices in heart transplant recipients and evaluated the predictive performance of a Bayesian forecasting software using a renal transplant-derived tacrolimus model to predict tacrolimus concentrations. METHODS: A retrospective audit of heart transplant recipients (n=87) treated with tacrolimus was performed. Relevant data were collected from the time of transplant to discharge. The concordance of tacrolimus dosing and monitoring according to hospital guidelines was assessed. The observed and software-predicted tacrolimus concentrations (n=931) were compared for the first 3 weeks of oral immediate-release tacrolimus (Prograf(R)) therapy, and the predictive performance (bias and imprecision) of the software was evaluated. RESULTS: The majority (96%) of initial oral tacrolimus doses were guideline concordant. Most initial intravenous doses (93%) were lower than the guideline recommendations. Overall, 36% of initial tacrolimus doses were administered to transplant recipients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 despite recommendations to delay the commencement of therapy. Of the tacrolimus concentrations collected during oral therapy (n=1,498), 25% were trough concentrations obtained at steady-state. The software displayed acceptable predictions of tacrolimus concentration from day 12 (bias: -6% [95% CI: -11.8-2.5], imprecision: 16% [95% CI: 8.7-24.3]) of therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Tacrolimus dosing and monitoring were discordant with the guidelines. The Bayesian forecasting software was suitable for guiding tacrolimus dosing after 11 days of therapy in heart transplant recipients. Understanding the factors contributing to the variability in tacrolimus pharmacokinetics immediately post-transplant may help improve software predictions.

Type Journal
ISBN 1536-3694 (Electronic) 0163-4356 (Linking)
Authors Kirubakaran, R.; Stocker, S. L.; Carlos, L.; Day, R. O.; Carland, J. E.
Published Date 2021-12-31
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1097/FTD.0000000000000909
URL link to publisher's version