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Transplantation. 2000 May 15;69(9):1890-8.

Improved long-term results with thymoglobuline induction therapy after cardiac transplantation: a comparison of two different rabbit-antithymocyte globulines.

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1
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Vienna, Austria. 101634.174@compuserve.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this retrospective single center analysis was to compare possible long-term benefits of two different rabbit-antithymocyte globuline (ATG) induction therapies after cardiac transplantation.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A total of 484 primary cardiac transplanted patients received induction therapy with two different rabbit-ATGs (thymoglobuline: n=342, ATG-fresenius: n=142). All patients received immunosuppressive maintenance therapy with cyclosporine, azathioprine, and prednisolone. Cardiac rejection was assessed by serial endomyocardial biopsies. Surveillance of graft arteriosclerosis was performed by angiograms 1, 3, and 5 years after transplantation.

RESULTS:

Five-year survival was significantly better in the thymoglobuline group (76 vs. 60%). Thymoglobuline patients had a lower rate of death from rejection (2.3 vs. 10%; P<0.01) and graft arteriosclerosis (0.88 vs. 5.6%; P<0.01). After 5 years, freedom from rejection was 72% in the thymoglobuline group compared to 42% in the ATG-fresenius group (P<0.01). Graft arteriosclerosis appeared in 14% of thymoglobuline patients and in 28% of ATG-fresenius patients (P<0.01). Viral infections occurred more often in thymoglobuline patients (53 vs. 39%, P<0.05) although there was no difference in appearance of cytomegalovirus disease (17 vs. 13%). Freedom from posttransplant malignant disease was comparable between the two groups.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that there are differences between rabbit ATG products. The superior prevention of rejection with thymoglobuline may be the reason for the lower rate of graft arteriosclerosis.

PMID:
10830228
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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