Effectiveness of maintenance immunosuppression therapies in a matched-pair analysis cohort of 16 years of renal transplant in the Brazilian national health system

Rosângela Maria Gomes, Wallace Breno Barbosa, Brian Godman, Juliana de Oliveira Costa, Nélio Gomes Ribeiro Junior, Charles Simão Filho, Mariângela Leal Cherchiglia, Francisco de Assis Acurcio, Augusto Afonso Guerra Júnior

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Maintenance of patients with renal transplant typically involves two or more drugs to prevent rejection and prolong graft survival. The calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) are the most commonly recommended medicines in combinations with others. While immunosuppressive treatment regimens are well established, there is insufficient long-term effectiveness data to help guide future management decisions. The study analyzes the effectiveness of treatment regimens containing CNI after renal transplantation during 16 years follow-up with real-world data from the Brazilian National Health System (SUS). This was a retrospective study with SUS patients after renal transplantion. Patients were propensity score-matched (1:1) by sex, age, type and year of transplantation. Kaplan-Meier was used to estimate the cumulative probabilities of survival. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to evaluate factors associated with progression to graft loss. 2,318 patients were included. Multivariable analysis, adjusted for diabetes mellitus and race / color, showed a greater risk of graft loss for patients using tacrolimus plus mycophenolate compared to patients treated with cyclosporine plus azathioprine. In conclusion, this Brazilian real-world study, with a long follow-up period using the matched analysis for relevant clinical features, and the representativeness of the sample, demonstrated improved long-term effectiveness for therapeutic regimens containing cyclosporine plus azathioprine. Consequently, we recommend that protocols and clinical guidelines for renal transplantation should consider cyclosporine plus azathioprine regimen as a potential first line option along with others.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1974
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2020



  • real-world data
  • real-world evidence
  • renal transplantation
  • immunosuppressants
  • graft survival
  • effectiveness
  • tacrolimus
  • cyclosporine
  • clinical epidemiology

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