Outcomes With Belatacept Exposure During Pregnancy in Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Case Series.

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BACKGROUND: Posttransplant fertility returns quickly, and female recipients of child-bearing age may conceive while on immunosuppression. However, pregnancy after transplantation confers risks to the recipient, transplant, and fetus, including gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, transplant dysfunction, preterm labor, and low birthweight infants. Additionally, mycophenolic acid (MPA) products are teratogenic. Literature evidence regarding belatacept, a selective T-cell costimulation blocker, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is extremely limited. When female transplant recipients on a belatacept-based regimen are desirous of pregnancy or at the time of conception, transplant providers manage the immunosuppression regimen in 1 of 2 ways: (1) switch both belatacept and MPA to a calcineurin inhibitor-based regimen with or without azathioprine, which is the more common practice but requires several modifications, having potential negative outcomes; or (2) only switch MPA to azathioprine while continuing belatacept.

METHODS: This case series includes 16 pregnancies in 12 recipients with exposure to belatacept throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Patient information was obtained from several sources, including Transplant Pregnancy Registry International, providers at Emory University, and Columbia University, as well as literature review.

RESULTS: Pregnancy outcomes included 13 live births and 3 miscarriages. No birth defects or fetal deaths were reported in any of the live births. Seven infants were breastfed while their mothers continued belatacept. Outcomes appear comparable to those documented with the administration of calcineurin inhibitors.

CONCLUSIONS: This case series provides data supporting the continued administration of belatacept during pregnancy. Additional research will assist in developing better guidelines to counsel female transplant recipients on belatacept desiring to pursue pregnancy.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery

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