Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2021 Aug 26:S0049-0172(21)00167-0. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2021.08.013. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The development of biological treatments has transformed the management of a broad spectrum of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. However, little is known about their use in solid-organ transplant recipients. This study aimed to evaluate complications occurring with biologic treatments in solid-organ transplant recipients.
METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was performed in the Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases, up to 01/10/2020, to identify published case reports or series reporting the use of biologic treatments in solid organ transplant recipients with chronic inflammatory diseases. We collected data on patient characteristics and reported complications.
RESULTS: In total, 57 articles were included, totalling 187 patients (141 liver, 42 kidney, 3 heart, and 1 liver-kidney transplant recipients). Inflammatory bowel diseases represented the most common indication for biologic treatment initiation (80.7%), followed by rheumatic diseases (7.5%), hereditary periodic fever syndromes (5.9%) and psoriasis (4.8%). Anti-TNFα were mainly used (77.5%; mainly monoclonal antibodies (70%) compared to soluble receptor etanercept (7.5%)), followed by the anti-α4β7 integrin, vedolizumab (27.3%) and the anti-IL-1R, anakinra (6.9%). Median treatment duration was 12 months. Infections occurred in 54 patients (28.9%) through 88 recorded events. No therapeutic or demographic factors were associated with occurrence of infection. Sixteen patients (8.6%) developed malignancies, and acute graft rejections occurred in 5 patients (2.7%). Among the 187 patients, 9 deaths were reported (4.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: This review assembles the largest number of published reports regarding the use of biological treatments in solid organ transplant recipients, providing data about their safety. Further comparative studies are needed to assess the safety of biological treatments in transplanted patients.