Induction therapy with antithymocyte globulin before reperfusion

Samuel B. Goldfarb, J. William Gaynor, Stephanie Fuller, James Kreindler, Lisa M. Montenegro, Francis Fynn-Thompson, Gary Visner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The use of induction immunosuppressive agents in pediatric lung transplantation is not universal. The rationale of induction therapy is to use the strongest immunosuppressive drugs at the time when the risk of acute cellular rejection (ACR) is highest. The timing of induction is not universal. We hypothesize that early treatment with antilymphocyte globulin (ATG) prior to reperfusion of the first donor lung will decrease the incidence of ACR. Methods: The initial dose of ATG was given during the operative procedure when the recipient was on cardiopulmonary bypass after removal of the recipient lungs and prior to implantation. Patients received additional doses daily for four days. All children were monitored for ACR during the first 6 months posttransplant with transbronchial biopsies at defined intervals (weeks-months) and when clinically indicated. Presence of ACR was defined by International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation guidelines. Results: Recipients from two pediatric centers received ATG based on this protocol. A total of 18 patients were treated with this protocol, and the follow-up period was 6 to 45 months. A total of 63 flexible bronchoscopies with transbronchial biopsies were performed during the first 6 months. A single episode of ACR (< grade A2) was identified in this patient population for an incidence of 5.2% ACR grade A2 or above in this patient population. Conclusions: Induction therapy with ATG prior to donor lung reperfusion is associated with a low incident of ACR during the first 6 months posttransplant in our patient cohort. Long-term follow-up is needed to ascertain the full effect of this treatment protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1115
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


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