Stopping Transplant Drugs Before Conception Benefits Fetus

Discontinuing mycophenolate acid products does not seem to pose risks of transplant rejection

Released: 18-Oct-2013 10:00 AM EDT
Embargo expired: 23-Oct-2013 5:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
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Citations ASN Kidney Week 2013

Highlight
• Kidney transplant recipients who discontinue immunosuppressive drugs before conception have a higher rate of live births and a lower rate of birth defects without an increased risk of kidney problems.

Newswise — Atlanta, GA (October 23, 2013)—Research suggests that fetal exposure to mycophenolic acid products (MPA)—which are drugs taken by transplant recipients to prevent rejection—may increase the risk of birth defects and spontaneous abortions. Results of this study will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013 November 5¬–10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

To investigate these potential links, Serban Constantinescu, MD, PhD (Temple University School of Medicine) and his colleagues analyzed data from the National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry (NTPR), comparing 163 female kidney transplant recipients who discontinued MPA prior to conception with 114 recipients who conceived while taking MPA.

In recipients who discontinued MPA, there were more live births (79% vs. 43%), a lower incidence of miscarriages (19% vs. 52%), and a lower incidence of birth defects (6% vs. 14%). Kidney problems during and after pregnancy were similar in the two groups of transplant recipients.

“The results of this study generate multiple questions. Continued close collaboration among specialists will help to better identify potential pregnancy risks in kidney transplant recipients, particularly as new immunosuppressive agents are developed,” said Dr. Constantinescu. “Individual physicians and transplant centers are encouraged to report all pregnancy exposures in transplant recipients to the National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry, which was designed specifically to assess the safety of pregnancy in solid organ transplant recipients.”

Study: “Pregnancy Outcomes in Kidney Recipients Who Discontinued Mycophenolic Acid Products Prior to Conception.” (Abstract 3136)

Michael J. Moritz is a consultant for Highmark Blue Shield and receives research funding from Novartis and Bristol-Meyers-Squibb. The authors report receiving research funding for this study from Commercial Support Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Astellas Pharma US, Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

ASN Kidney Week 2013, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for 14,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2013 will take place November 5 – 10, 2013 in Atlanta, GA.

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Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

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