Background: BK viral nephropathy is an increasingly recognized cause of early allograft loss in kidney transplantation. This study aimed to determine whether a sirolimus (Sir)-based calcineurin inhibitor-sparing regimen is associated with a lower incidence of BK viremia. Methods: This was a single-center retrospective study. Patients were either on tacrolimus (Tac)-based or on Sir-based immunosuppression. Conversion from Tac to Sir occurred at or after 3 months if patients were <62 years of age, had calculated panel reactive antibodies of <20%, and did not have acute early rejection. Results: Incidence of clinically significant BK viremia was 17.9% in the Tac group and 4.3% in the Sir group. Cox regression multivariate analysis showed that male gender (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.87) and switch to Sir (HR = 0.333) impacted the incidence of BK viremia. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a higher BK-free survival in the Sir group. A trend was seen toward shorter time to resolution of BK viremia and lower peak viremia in the Sir group. Patients on Sir had a higher estimated glomerular filtration rate at each time point; 34% of patients discontinued Sir because of side effects. Conclusion: Conversion to Sir-based maintenance immunosuppression at or about 3 months after kidney transplantation correlates with a lower incidence of BK viremia.
- BK virus
- Calcineurin inhibitor sparing
- Kidney transplantation