We compared, through the European Liver Transplant Registry, long-term liver transplantation outcomes with prolonged-release tacrolimus (PR-T) versus immediate-release tacrolimus (IR-T)-based immunosuppression. This retrospective analysis comprises up to 8-year data collected between 2008 and 2016, in an extension of our previously published study.
Patients with <1 month follow-up were excluded; patients were propensity score matched for baseline characteristics. Efficacy measures included: univariate/multivariate analyses of risk factors influencing graft/patient survival up to 8 years posttransplantation, and graft/patient survival up to 4 years with PR-T versus IR-T. Overall, 13 088 patients were included from 44 European centers; propensity score-matched analyses comprised 3006 patients (PR-T: n = 1002; IR-T: n = 2004).
In multivariate analyses, IR-T-based immunosuppression was associated with reduced graft survival (risk ratio, 1.49; P = 0.0038) and patient survival (risk ratio, 1.40; P = 0.0215). There was improvement with PR-T versus IR-T in graft survival (83% versus 77% at 4 y, respectively; P = 0.005) and patient survival (85% versus 80%; P = 0.017). Patients converted from IR-T to PR-T after 1 month had a higher graft survival rate than patients receiving IR-T at last follow-up (P < 0.001), or started and maintained on PR-T (P = 0.019). One graft loss in 4 years was avoided for every 14.3 patients treated with PR-T versus IR-T.
PR-T-based immunosuppression might improve long-term outcomes in liver transplant recipients than IR-T-based immunosuppression.