Effect of everolimus initiation and calcineurin inhibitor elimination on cardiac allograft vasculopathy in de novo heart transplant recipients - Three-Year results of a Scandinavian randomized trial
AuthorArora, Satish; Andreassen, Arne K.; Karason, Kristjan; Gustafsson, Finn; Eiskjær, Hans; Bøtker, Hans Erik; Rådegran, Göran; Gude, Einar; Ioanes, Dan; Solbu, Dag; Dellgren, Göran; Ueland, Thor; Aukrust, Pål; Gullestad, Lars
Methods and results: The SCHEDULE trial was a multicenter Scandinavian trial, where 115 de novo heart transplantation recipients were randomized to everolimus with complete cyclosporine withdrawal 7 to 11 weeks after heart transplantation or standard cyclosporinebased immunosuppression. Seventy-six (66%) patients had matched intravascular ultrasound examinations at baseline and 12 and 36 months. Intravascular ultrasound analysis evaluated maximal intimal thickness, percent atheroma volume, and total atheroma volume. Qualitative plaque analysis using virtual histology assessed fibrous, fibrofatty, and calcified tissue as well as necrotic core. Serum inflammatory markers were measured in parallel. The everolimus group (n=37) demonstrated significantly reduced CAV progression as compared with the cyclosporine group (n=39) at 36 months (∆ maximal intimal thickness, 0.09±0.05 versus 0.15±0.16 mm [P=0.03]; ∆ percent atheroma volume, 5.3±2.8% versus 7.6±5.9% [P=0.03]; and ∆ total atheroma volume, 33.9±71.2 versus 54.2±96.0 mm3 [P=0.34], respectively]. At 36 months the number of everolimus patients with rejection graded ≥2R was 15 (41%) as compared with 5 (13%) in the cyclosporine group (P=0.01). Everolimus did not affect CAV morphology or immune marker activity during the follow-up period.
Conclusions: The SCHEDULE trial demonstrates that everolimus initiation and early cyclosporine elimination significantly reduces CAV progression at 12 months, and this beneficial effect is clearly sustained at 36 months.