Improved Survival in Liver Transplant Recipients Receiving Prolonged-Release Tacrolimus in the European Liver Transplant Registry

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This study was a retrospective analysis of the European Liver Transplant Registry (ELTR) performed to compare long-term outcomes with prolonged-release tacrolimus versus tacrolimus BD in liver transplantation (January 2008–December 2012). Clinical efficacy measures included univariate and multivariate analyses of risk factors influencing graft and patient survival at 3 years posttransplant. Efficacy measures were repeated using propensity score-matching for baseline demographics. Patients with <1 month of follow-up were excluded from the analyses. In total, 4367 patients (prolonged-release tacrolimus: n = 528; BD: n = 3839) from 21 European centers were included. Tacrolimus BD treatment was significantly associated with inferior graft (risk ratio: 1.81; p = 0.001) and patient survival (risk ratio: 1.72; p = 0.004) in multivariate analyses. Similar analyses performed on the propensity score-matched patients confirmed the significant survival advantages observed in the prolonged-release tacrolimus- versus tacrolimus BD-treated group. This large retrospective analysis from the ELTR identified significant improvements in long-term graft and patient survival in patients treated with prolonged-release tacrolimus versus tacrolimus BD in primary liver transplant recipients over 3 years of treatment. However, as with any retrospective registry evaluation, there are a number of limitations that should be considered when interpreting these data.

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