To evaluate the impact of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) on long-term outcomes of tacrolimus and corticosteroids, we analyzed data reported to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients for 11,670 adult patients (3463 with hepatitis C [HCV]) who underwent primary, single-organ, liver transplantation between 1995 and 2001. Patients who were discharged from the hospital on tacrolimus-based immunosuppression with (n = 4466; n = 1323 HCV) or without MMF (n = 7204; n = 2140 HCV) were included in the analysis. Recipients treated at discharge with MMF, tacrolimus, and corticosteroids had significantly increased patient survival (81.0% vs. 77.0% at 4 years, P < 0.0001) and graft survival (76.4% vs. 72.9%, P < 0.0001), and lower rates of acute rejection (29.0% vs. 33.4%, P < 0.001) as compared to recipients treated at discharge with tacrolimus and corticosteroids alone. A trend toward lower rates of death from infection was observed (6.1% at 4 years for MMF vs. 7.1% at 4 years for tacrolimus and corticosteroids, P = 0.0508), but this result did not reach statistical significance. In multiple regression analyses, MMF triple therapy at discharge was associated with a reduced risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.77, P < 0.001), graft loss (HR = 0.81, P < 0.001), acute rejection (HR = 0.89, P = 0.002), and death from infectious complications (HR = 0.80, P = 0.007). Outcomes were similar for the cohort with HCV. In conclusion, the addition of MMF at discharge to tacrolimus-based immunosuppression is associated with improved long-term outcomes after liver transplantation in patients with and without HCV.
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