Clinical impact of replacing minnesota antilymphocyte globulin with ATGAM

Caliann T. Lum, Andrew J. Umen, Bertram Kasiske, Paul Goerdt, Karen L. Heim-Duthoy, Robert C. Andersen, Mark D. Odland, Arthur L. Ney, Donald M. Jacobs, K. Venkatesvara Rao, Deborah Pavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In August 1992, we replaced Minnesota antilymphocyte globulin (MALG) with lymphocyte immune globulin, antithymocyte globulin (equine) (ATGAM) in our immunosuppression protocols. The clinical impression of increased graft rejection prompted our assessment of the effect of this change on patient and graft outcome. The initial study group consisted of 426 renal transplant recipients transplanted between October 1, 1987, and September 21, 1993. After exclusions, 388 transplant events, with a minimum 8-month follow-up, made up the final study cohort: 323 patients received MALG and 65 received ATGAM. Immunosuppression included intravenous methylprednisolone, oral prednisone, oral AZA, CsA in some cases, and intravenous MALG or ATGAM, 15 mg/kg/day, for 7 to 14 days. Acute rejection was treated with high dose intravenous steroids and steroid-resistant episodes were treated additionally with either MALG or OKT3. Statistical comparisons were stratified for multiple patient characteristics and treatment variations. There was a greater incidence of rejection in general, and a higher incidence of steroid-resistant episodes requiring subsequent anti lymphocyte globulin therapy (P=0.0073) in patients receiving ATGAM versus MALG. No difference was seen in the incidence of CMV infection or blood-borne sepsis. Lymphoma occurred in 3 MALG and 2 ATGAM recipients. MALG recipients were significantly less likely to experience rejection within the first 60 days after transplant (P=0.0127 using unstratified data; P<0.0001 when data were stratified for patient characteristics). The relative risk of acute rejection for posttransplant days 5, 7, 10, and 14 was consistently higher for ATGAM-treated patients. We conclude that MALG and ATGAM are not equivalent drugs, and that MALG is a more effective immunosuppressant, and is just as safe as ATGAM in our protocol environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1995


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