Optimizing Mycophenolic Acid Exposure in Kidney Transplant Recipients: Time for Target Concentration Intervention

David K. Metz, Nick Holford, Joshua Y. Kausman, Amanda Walker, Noel Cranswick, Christine E. Staatz, Katherine A. Barraclough, Francesco Ierino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The immunosuppressive agent mycophenolate is used extensively in kidney transplantation, yet dosing strategy applied varies markedly from fixed dosing ("one-dose-fits-all"), to mycophenolic acid (MPA) trough concentration monitoring, to dose optimization to an MPA exposure target (as area under the concentration-time curve [MPA AUC0-12]). This relates in part to inconsistent results in prospective trials of concentration-controlled dosing (CCD). In this review, the totality of evidence supporting mycophenolate CCD is examined: pharmacological characteristics, observational data linking exposure to efficacy and toxicities, and randomized controlled trials of CCD, with attention to dose optimization method and exposure achieved. Fixed dosing of mycophenolate consistently leads to underexposure associated with rejection, as well as overexposure associated with toxicities. When CCD is driven by pharmacokinetic calculation to a target concentration (target concentration intervention), MPA exposure is successfully controlled and clinical benefits are seen. There remains a need for consensus on practical aspects of mycophenolate target concentration intervention in contemporary tacrolimus-containing regimens and future research to define maintenance phase exposure targets. However, given ongoing consequences of both overimmunosuppression and underimmunosuppression in kidney transplantation, impacting short- and long-term outcomes, these should be a priority. The imprecise "one-dose-fits-all" approach should be replaced by the clinically proven MPA target concentration strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2012-2030
Number of pages19
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

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