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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Maintenance immunosuppression for adults undergoing liver transplantation: a network meta‐analysis

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (84th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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Maintenance immunosuppression for adults undergoing liver transplantation: a network meta‐analysis
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011639.pub2
Pubmed ID

Manuel Rodríguez-Perálvarez, Marta Guerrero-Misas, Douglas Thorburn, Brian R Davidson, Emmanuel Tsochatzis, Kurinchi Selvan Gurusamy


As part of liver transplantation, immunosuppression (suppressing the host immunity) is given to prevent graft rejections resulting from the immune response of the body against transplanted organ or tissues from a different person whose tissue antigens are not compatible with those of the recipient. The optimal maintenance immunosuppressive regimen after liver transplantation remains uncertain. To assess the comparative benefits and harms of different maintenance immunosuppressive regimens in adults undergoing liver transplantation through a network meta-analysis and to generate rankings of the different immunosuppressive regimens according to their safety and efficacy. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Science Citation Index Expanded, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and trials registers until October 2016 to identify randomised clinical trials on immunosuppression for liver transplantation. We included only randomised clinical trials (irrespective of language, blinding, or publication status) in adult participants undergoing liver transplantation (or liver retransplantation) for any reason. We excluded trials in which participants had undergone multivisceral transplantation or participants with established graft rejections. We considered any of the various maintenance immunosuppressive regimens compared with each other. We performed a network meta-analysis with OpenBUGS using Bayesian methods and calculated the odds ratio, rate ratio, and hazard ratio (HR) with 95% credible intervals (CrI) based on an available-case analysis, according to National Institute of Health and Care Excellence Decision Support Unit guidance. We included a total of 26 trials (3842 participants) in the review, and 23 trials (3693 participants) were included in one or more outcomes in the review. The vast majority of the participants underwent primary liver transplantation. All of the trials were at high risk of bias, and all of the evidence was of low or very low quality. In addition, because of sparse data involving trials at high risk of bias, it is not possible to entirely rely on the results of the network meta-analysis. The trials included mainly participants undergoing primary liver transplantation of varied aetiologies. The follow-up in the trials ranged from 3 to 144 months. The most common maintenance immunosuppression used as a control was tacrolimus. There was no evidence of difference in mortality (21 trials; 3492 participants) or graft loss (15 trials; 2961 participants) at maximal follow-up between the different maintenance immunosuppressive regimens based on the network meta-analysis. In the direct comparison, based on a single trial including 222 participants, tacrolimus plus sirolimus had increased mortality (HR 2.76, 95% CrI 1.30 to 6.69) and graft loss (HR 2.34, 95% CrI 1.28 to 4.61) at maximal follow-up compared with tacrolimus. There was no evidence of differences in the proportion of people with serious adverse events (1 trial; 719 participants), proportion of people with any adverse events (2 trials; 940 participants), renal impairment (8 trials; 2233 participants), chronic kidney disease (1 trial; 100 participants), graft rejections (any) (16 trials; 2726 participants), and graft rejections requiring treatment (5 trials; 1025 participants) between the different immunosuppressive regimens. The network meta-analysis showed that the number of adverse events was lower with cyclosporine A than with many other immunosuppressive regimens (12 trials; 1748 participants), and the risk of retransplantation (13 trials; 1994 participants) was higher with cyclosporine A than with tacrolimus (HR 3.08, 95% CrI 1.13 to 9.90). None of the trials reported number of serious adverse events, health-related quality of life, or costs. 14 trials were funded by pharmaceutical companies who would benefit from the results of the trial; two trials were funded by parties who had no vested interest in the results of the trial; and 10 trials did not report the source of funding. Based on low-quality evidence from a single small trial from direct comparison, tacrolimus plus sirolimus increases mortality and graft loss at maximal follow-up compared with tacrolimus. Based on very low-quality evidence from network meta-analysis, we found no evidence of difference between different immunosuppressive regimens. We found very low-quality evidence from network meta-analysis and low-quality evidence from direct comparison that cyclosporine A causes more retransplantation compared with tacrolimus. Future randomised clinical trials should be adequately powered; performed in people who are generally seen in the clinic rather than in highly selected participants; employ blinding; avoid postrandomisation dropouts or planned cross-overs; and use clinically important outcomes such as mortality, graft loss, renal impairment, chronic kidney disease, and retransplantation. Such trials should use tacrolimus as one of the control groups. Moreover, such trials ought to be designed in such a way as to ensure low risk of bias and low risks of random errors.

X Demographics

X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 221 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Qatar 1 <1%
Unknown 220 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 34 15%
Other 20 9%
Researcher 19 9%
Student > Bachelor 19 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 15 7%
Other 38 17%
Unknown 76 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 68 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 21 10%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 13 6%
Psychology 6 3%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 3%
Other 23 10%
Unknown 84 38%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 12. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 May 2020.
All research outputs
of 25,390,692 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,521 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 297,187 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 250 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,390,692 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 88th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,521 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 37.2. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 54% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 297,187 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 250 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.