Everolimus Based Immunosuppression Strategies in Adult Lung Transplant Recipients: Calcineurin Inhibitor Minimization Versus Calcineurin Inhibitor Elimination

Steven Ivulich, Eldho Paul, Carl Kirkpatrick, Michael Dooley, Greg Snell

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Everolimus (EVE) provides an alternative to maintenance immunosuppression when conventional immunosuppression cannot be tolerated. EVE can be utilized with a calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) minimization or elimination strategy. To date, clinical studies investigating EVE after lung transplant (LTx) have primarily focused on the minimization strategy to preserve renal function. The primary aim was to determine the preferred method of EVE utilization for lung transplant recipients (LTR). To undertake this aim, we compared the safety and efficacy outcomes of EVE as part of minimization and elimination immunosuppressant regimens. Single center retrospective study of 217 LTR initiated on EVE (120 CNI minimization and 97 CNI elimination). Survival outcomes were calculated from the date of EVE commencement. On multivariate analysis, LTR who received EVE as part of the CNI elimination strategy had poorer survival outcomes compared to the CNI minimization strategy [HR 1.61, 95% CI: 1.11–2.32, p=0.010]. Utilization of EVE for renal preservation was associated with improved survival compared to other indications [HR 0.64, 95% CI: 0.42–0.97, p=0.032]. EVE can be successfully utilized for maintenance immunosuppression post LTx, particularly for renal preservation. However, immunosuppressive regimens containing low dose CNI had superior survival outcomes, highlighting the importance of retaining a CNI wherever possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10704
Number of pages13
JournalTransplant International
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023


  • calcineurin inhibitor
  • everolimus
  • lung transplant recipients
  • lung transplant survival
  • lung transplantation
  • mammalian-target-of-rapamycin inhibitor
  • nephrotoxicity

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