Therapeutic drug monitoring of immunosuppressive drugs in hepatology and gastroenterology

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2021 Oct-Dec:54-55:101756. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2021.101756. Epub 2021 Jun 16.


Immunosuppressive drugs have been key to the success of liver transplantation and are essential components of the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). For many but not all immunosuppressants, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is recommended to guide therapy. In this article, the rationale and evidence for TDM of tacrolimus, mycophenolic acid, the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and azathioprine in liver transplantation, IBD, and AIH is reviewed. New developments, including algorithm-based/computer-assisted immunosuppressant dosing, measurement of immunosuppressants in alternative matrices for whole blood, and pharmacodynamic monitoring of these agents is discussed. It is expected that these novel techniques will be incorporate into the standard TDM in the next few years.

Keywords: Autoimmune hepatitis; Immunosuppressants; Inflammatory bowel disease; Liver; Therapeutic drug monitoring; Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Monitoring
  • Gastroenterology*
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune* / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis, Autoimmune* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Tacrolimus


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Tacrolimus