Transplant recipients using tacrolimus had higher utilization of healthcare services than those receiving cyclosporine in Taiwan

Yi Chang Lin, Chien Sung Tsai, I. Hsun Li, Yi Ting Tsai, Tien Yu Huang, Kwai Fong Lee, Chih Sheng Lin, Jui Hu Shih, Li Ting Kao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To date, population-based studies on the healthcare service utilization among stable heart, kidney, and liver transplant recipients with different calcineurin inhibitors are still scarce. Therefore, we used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database to conduct a nationwide cross-sectional study to estimate the healthcare utilization of stable transplant recipients with tacrolimus or cyclosporine (n = 3,482). The sampled patients in this study comprised 377 heart, 1,693 kidney, and 1,412 liver transplant recipients between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011. Each subject was followed for a 1-year period to evaluate his/her healthcare service utilization. Outcome variables of the healthcare service utilization were stated as below: numbers of outpatient visits, outpatient costs, numbers of inpatient days, inpatients costs, and total costs of all healthcare services. As for all healthcare service utilization, stable transplant recipients on tacrolimus had significantly more outpatient visits (40.7 vs. 38.6), outpatient costs (US$10,383 vs. US$8,155), and total costs (US$12,516 vs. US$10,372) of all healthcare services than those on cyclosporine during the 1-year follow-up period. Additionally, further analysis showed that heart transplant recipients receiving tacrolimus incurred 1.7-fold higher inpatient costs compared to patients receiving cyclosporine. We concluded that transplant recipients using tacrolimus had significantly higher utilization of all healthcare services than those receiving cyclosporine as immunosuppressive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1074
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Cyclosporine
  • Healthcare service utilization
  • Heart transplant
  • Kidney transplant
  • Liver transplant
  • Tacrolimus


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