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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 348-354
Tacrolimus intrapatient variability in BK virus nephropathy and chronic calcineurin toxicity in kidney transplantation

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Baskent University Ankara Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of General Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Baskent University Ankara Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
3 Department of Biochemistry, Baskent University Ankara Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
4 Department of Pathology, Baskent University Ankara Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Didem Turgut
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Baskent University Ankara Hospital, Ankara
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DOI: 10.4103/1319-2442.335446

PMID: 35017328

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Intrapatient variability (IPV) in tacrolimus has been increasingly acknowledged as a risk factor for poor graft survival after kidney transplantation. Although past studies have mainly accounted for IPV in acute or chronic rejection states as due to underimmunosuppression, this is not yet clear. So far, tacrolimus IPV for BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVN) and chronic calcineurin inhibitor toxicity (CNIT) has not been investigated. Here, we evaluated IPV in tacrolimus for BKVN and chronic CNIT, which are mainly considered as overimmunosuppression states. In this case–control study, kidney allograft biopsies conducted between 1998 and 2018 were included, with patients grouped by biopsy results as BKVN alone group, CNIT alone group, and normal graft function (control group). IPV was estimated as mean absolute deviation. Our study groups included 25 kidney transplant recipients with BKVN alone, 91 patients with CNIT alone, and 60 patients with normal 5-year graft survival (control group). In analyses of IPV in tacrolimus six months before graft biopsy, IPV was highest in the BKVN group (P = 0.001). The BKVN group also had the highest IPV in tacrolimus at 12 months after biopsy (P = 0.001), with all pairwise comparisons statistically different between groups. At 12 months after biopsy, five patients (20%) in the BKVN group and 10 patients (10.9%) in the CNIT group had graft loss. Among other risk factors, BKVN and chronic CNIT are consequences related to high IPV. Quantification of IVP for tacrolimus in clinical practice would help to optimize kidney transplant outcomes.

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