Cyclosporin drug monitoring: comparison of four immunoassays and HPLC

Klin Wochenschr. 1989 Apr 17;67(8):438-41. doi: 10.1007/BF01725139.


Cyclosporin blood trough levels were measured with four different immunoassays and high-performance liquid chromatography in 12 patients receiving low-dose steroids and CsA after kidney transplantation. These patients represent a selection with an uncomplicated posttransplant course and received no drugs with a known influence on CsA pharmacokinetics. The use of specific antibodies against the parent drug yielded levels comparable to those detected by HPLC. CsA levels measured with nonspecific antibodies exceeded those measured with specific ones by a factor of two to three. All immunoassay-detected CsA levels correlated significantly with the HPLC-determined CsA levels. In addition, blood levels of the CsA metabolites 1, 17, 18, and 21 were determined by HPLC. In one additional patient, who was under tuberculostatic treatment and had a transitory deterioration of liver function, levels of nonspecific-antibody-determined CsA rose, as confirmed by rising levels of metabolite 17, while those of the parent drug fell. We conclude that routine drug monitoring should include at least one immunoassay with a specific antibody detecting the unchanged CsA, and a supplementary immunoassay with a nonspecific antibody detecting a composition of cross-reacting metabolites plus the unchanged substance. If available, HPLC should be used to confirm levels of CsA and its metabolites in patients with suspected alteration of their CsA metabolism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid*
  • Cyclosporins / administration & dosage
  • Cyclosporins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cyclosporins