Comparative Effectiveness of Tacrolimus-Based Steroid Sparing versus Steroid Maintenance Regimens in Kidney Transplantation: Results from Discrete Event Simulation

Vibha C.A. Desai, Yann Ferrand, Teresa M. Cavanaugh, Christina M.L. Kelton, J. Jaime Caro, Jens Goebel, Pamela C. Heaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Corticosteroids used as immunosuppressants to prevent acute rejection (AR) and graft loss (GL) following kidney transplantation are associated with serious cardiovascular and other adverse events. Evidence from short-term randomized controlled trials suggests that many patients on a tacrolimus-based immunosuppressant regimen can withdraw from steroids without increased AR or GL risk. Objectives. To measure the long-term tradeoff between GL and adverse events for a heterogeneous-risk population and determine the optimal timing of steroid withdrawal. Methods. A discrete event simulation was developed including, as events, AR, GL, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, cytomegalovirus, and new onset diabetes mellitus (NODM), among others. Data from the United States Renal Data System were used to estimate event-specific parametric regressions, which accounted for steroid-sparing regimen (avoidance, early 7-d withdrawal, 6-mo withdrawal, 12-mo withdrawal, and maintenance) as well as patients' demographics, immunologic risks, and comorbidities. Regression-equation results were used to derive individual time-to-event Weibull distributions, used, in turn, to simulate the course of patients over 20 y. Results. Patients on steroid avoidance or an early-withdrawal regimen were more likely to experience AR (45.9% to 55.0% v. 33.6%, P < 0.05) and GL (51.5% to 68.8% v. 37.8%, P < 0.05) compared to patients on steroid maintenance. Patients in 6-mo and 12-mo steroid withdrawal groups were less likely to experience MI (11.1% v. 13.3%, P < 0.05), NODM (30.7% to 34.4% v. 37.7%, P < 0.05), and cardiac death (29.9% to 30.5% v. 32.4%, P < 0.05), compared to steroid maintenance. Conclusions. Strategies of 6- and 12-mo steroid withdrawal post-kidney transplantation are expected to reduce the rates of adverse cardiovascular events and other outcomes with no worsening of AR or GL rates compared with steroid maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-843
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Decision Making
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • acute rejection
  • cardiovascular event
  • discrete event simulation
  • graft loss
  • immunosuppression
  • kidney transplant
  • steroid maintenance
  • steroid withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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