Background: Traditional immunosuppressive regimens (ISR) used in lung transplantation rely on calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) that occasionally cause severe adverse reactions necessitating discontinuation. Belatacept is a novel costimulation antagonist approved for use in renal transplantation which lacks data in lung transplantation. This series aims to describe the response to belatacept ISR in 11 lung transplantation recipients after CNI failure.
Methods: Single center, retrospective medical record review of adult lung transplant recipients (LTR) before and after conversion to belatacept-based ISR. Patients were evaluated at fixed time points before and after belatacept initiation. Primary outcome was incidence of acute cellular rejection (ACR). Secondary outcomes included incidence of infection, Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction (CLAD) progression, death, change in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
Results: Eleven LTRs received belatacept with a mean of 246 (91-1064) days of follow-up after conversion. Four were changed to belatacept for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura; 3 for posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome; 2 for recurrent ACR; 1 for CLAD; and 1 for renal-sparing. ACR was not different before and after belatacpet (p=0.17). Mean eGFR was significantly higher postbelatacept (32.53 vs 45.26, p=0.04). Mean incidence of infections (24.4% vs 16.0%, p=0.55), and MAP (97.5 vs 92.1 p=0.38), were not different. Progression of CLAD occurred in 2 patients. At the end of follow-up, 7/11 patients were alive.
Conclusions: Belatacept-based ISR appear to produce reasonable results in LTRs who fail CNI-based ISR. Larger prospective trials appear warranted in lung transplantation.
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