Immunosuppression with Tacrolimus Early after Orthotopic Heart Transplantation: A Comparison of Prograf and Advagraf


  • Ali Ghodsizad
  • Achim Koch
  • Matthias N. Ungerer
  • Viktor Bordel
  • Christian Zugck
  • Philipp Ehlermann
  • Andreas Doesch
  • Matthias Karck
  • Arjang Ruhparwar



Background: We compared trough levels and clinical outcomes in patients who received Prograf or Advagraf (tacrolimus) de novo following heart transplantation surgery.

Methods: Eighty-two patients were included in this follow-up study. Biopsy results were controlled for the first 3 months after orthotopic heart transplantation. Trough levels were monitored for 4 weeks: daily during the first 7 days and once every week thereafter. The lengths of stay in the hospital and in intensive care were compared. The end point of the study was the 1-year mortality rate.

Results: We found significant differences between the groups for both biopsy results and trough levels. Trough levels differed for the first 5 days and then converged on the sixth day. The levels remained comparable throughout the monitoring period. The 1-year mortality rates for Prograf and Advagraf were 20% and 15%, respectively.

Conclusions: Trough levels were comparable after an adjustment period. There were no differences between the 2 groups in their 1-year mortality rates. These results suggest that Advagraf is a safe alternative to Prograf for patients who have undergone heart transplantation.


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How to Cite

Ghodsizad, A., Koch, A., Ungerer, M. N., Bordel, V., Zugck, C., Ehlermann, P., Doesch, A., Karck, M., & Ruhparwar, A. (2012). Immunosuppression with Tacrolimus Early after Orthotopic Heart Transplantation: A Comparison of Prograf and Advagraf. The Heart Surgery Forum, 15(6), E307-E309.