Conversion to everolimus in pediatric heart transplant recipients is a safe treatment option with an impact on cardiac allograft vasculopathy and renal function

Clin Transplant. 2021 Mar;35(3):e14191. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14191. Epub 2020 Dec 30.


Background: Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and nephrotoxicity affect long-term survival after heart transplantation (HTX). Studies, mostly conducted in adults, showed a positive effect of everolimus (EVL) on these problems. We describe the effects of conversion of the immunosuppressive therapy to an everolimus including regime on CAV, renal function, and safety in heart transplanted children/adolescents.

Methods: This retrospective single-center study included 36 participants (mean time after HTX 6.3 ± 4.7 years). Descriptive pre/post-comparisons were performed with an observation period partially up to 4 years. Impact on CAV was assessed based on intravascular imaging and Stanford grading. Safety analysis included cytomegalovirus (CMV)-infection and acute rejection.

Results: In terms of CAV (9 out of 36 patients) four showed no progression, three an improvement, one a worsening; one new diagnosis. The average CrCl showed a significant improvement 6, 12, and 24 months after conversion regarding all patients (n = 29). There was no acute rejection or CMV-infection.

Conclusion: Conversion to an EVL-based therapy after pediatric HTX is a safe immunosuppressive regime without increasing risk of acute rejection or CMV-infection. There was some evidence of reduction in progression of CAV and a significant improvement of the renal function.

Trial registration: NCT03386539.

Keywords: cardiac allograft vasculopathy; everolimus; pediatric heart transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allografts
  • Child
  • Everolimus* / therapeutic use
  • Graft Rejection / drug therapy
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Heart Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Everolimus

Associated data