Tacrolimus (TAC) / Protopic Lab Test

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Clinical Definition of Tacrolimus (TAC) / Protopic

Owing to multiple reasons, humans find themselves opting for organ transplantation. Because of the inefficient working of the vital organs such as heart, lungs, kidney, trachea, we may need a transplant.

Even though the possibilities of having a successful organ transplantation is high, our very own immune system may not give a helping hand to the new member of the group, and, naturally, starts to reject it. The effect this can have is severe and can make the whole transplantation futile and ineffectual.

The immune system is responsible for recognising and protecting the body from particles that it considers to be foreign to the host. This includes germs, viruses, parasites, bacterial and many more which are, without an ounce of doubt, unwelcomed to our system. The immune system is also known to attack even cancer cells to an extent, though it is not completely sufficient.

But at the same time, the immune system can show hints of cleverness as it can clearly distinguish between the good bacterias, (also known as beneficial bacterias) with the bad ones, and help the good bacteria triumph over the bad ones.

The harmful substances do have a coating known as antigens, which is protein. It is through this antigens that the immune system can instantly notice their presence in the body. If the antigen is any different from the host, they consider them to be foreign and will attack them.

The organ transplantation will leave the door wide open for such a situation, resulting in the system to constantly reject the new organ.

Transplant rejection can be basically categorised into three types. 

1. The first type and the most disheartening of all is the hyperacute rejection. In this type, the antigen and because of its dissimilarity with the receiver's antigen, the rejection takes place within minutes from the completion of the surgery. To prevent the death of the receiver, the tissue must be withdrawn right away.

2. The second type is basically seen in every organ transplantation, because of at least the slightest of difference between the donor's and the receiver's antigen. But the rejection is not as severe as the previous one. Nevertheless, the organ transplantation can fail anywhere from 1 week to three months after the transplantation.

3. In the third case, which is known as chronic rejection, the denial of the organ can take place over many years. The immune system will slowly damage the transplanted tissue or organ.

There are mainly two ways of avoiding this issue.

Firstly, the molecular similarity between the donor and the receiver must me efficiently scrutinized and checked for similarity, so that chances and the extent to which the immune system will find the newly transplanted organ as an intruder is less. Also, the suppression of the transplanted organ by the immune system can be lessened through drugs which are known as an immunosuppressive drug.

Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressive drug that quashes the immune system and helps prevent rejection of transplanted organs by hindering activation of T-lymphocytes. It is prescribed to be taken orally or intravenously to people who have undergone an organ transplant.

Tacrolimus levels in the blood are assessed to maintain a therapeutic range. When the concentration is low organ rejection occurs and when the concentration is too high it leads to indications related to toxicity.

When do you expect results?

24 to 36 Hours

 

Why Get Tested?

Tacrolimus test determines the concentration of tacrolimus in the blood. The use of the tacrolimus drug is generally posted an allogeneic organ transplant to reduce the risk of organ rejection. Tacrolimus levels are maintained within the therapeutic range as high levels of the drug causes kidney damage.

 

Reason to take Tacrolimus (TAC) / Protopic Test

The kind of symptoms that are shown mainly depends on the type of organ transplantation one has gone through. The biopsy ( an examination of tissue from the body to check the presence, cause or the extent of the disease) will be done by the doctors regularly to identify symptoms if any, so that the development of the symptoms can be avoided.

Symptoms observed in scenarios like these are:

  • Kidney damage
  • Tremors
  • A headache
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Electrolyte disturbances such as hyperkalemia
  • Tinnitus (intermittent and/or persistent ringing or roaring in the ears)
  • Seizures

Preparations Needed for Tacrolimus (TAC) / ProtopicTest

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

 

Sample Required?

Specimen type: Serum (Blood Sample),

Specimen collection procedure: Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

How do you understand this result?

Reference Range Interpretation:

10 to 12 ng/ml2 to 3 months post-transplant 4 to 6 months post-transplant In Liver Transplant Recipients

while on the pursuit to suppress the immune system so that it accepts the new tissue/organ, one will be under constant medication. It is only clever on one's part to be aware of the strong implications these medicines can have on them in the long run.

The harsh outcomes include:

Diabetes: This can either be a whole new problem or can even end up infuriating pre-existing diabetes in a few.

High blood pressure: Similar to diabetes, the medications can either result in making the one under medication easily prone to high blood pressure, or can intensify the existing one.

Unwanted hair growth is also common in people under constant medication.

Even though the prospect of going through organ transplantation itself can be traumatic and unsettling, because of the heard times one must sail through, the medication can indeed elevate the possibility of giving way to depression and chronic anxiety. One must immediately seek help if that is the case.

Gastrointestinal problems are also common when under medication. one must seek doctors assistance and reduce the intake of alcohol and caffeine to avoid problems like ulcer, frequent vomiting, heartburn, nausea, acid flux and more.

High cholesterol is a frequent side effect of immune system suppression. The symptoms may not be well developed and might also be not easy to notice immediately, But it can potentially clog the blood vessels, damaging the newly transplanted organ, and can even end up giving a heart disease to the receiver under the medication.

Understanding results of Tacrolimus (TAC) / Protopic

Reference RangeInterpretation
10 to 12 ng/ml <5 ng/ml 05 to 10 ng/05 to 20 ng/ml to 15 ng/ml ml2 to 3 months post transplant 4 to 6 months post transplant In Liver Transplant Recipients

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22128417
  2. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/tacrolimus_monohydrate
  3. https://labtestsonline.org/tests/tacrolimus