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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007 May;26(5):504-10. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

A randomized, controlled trial of daclizumab vs anti-thymocyte globulin induction for lung transplantation.

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Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. <>



Rejection remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality after lung transplantation. The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy and safety of daclizumab (DZM) vs anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) as a component of induction therapy.


Fifty adults undergoing lung transplantation were randomized to receive either ATG or DZM during induction therapy. Patients were followed for 1 year after transplant.


Although there was no significant difference in the number of acute or chronic rejections between groups, there was a trend toward a delay in time to first acute rejection with DZM induction. Average absolute lymphocytes and average platelet count were significantly higher in the DZM group. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) serology mismatch was higher in the DZM group (7 vs 1, p = 0.05). The DZM group had a greater number of infections (83 vs 47, p = 0.02); however, the number of CMV infections was also significantly greater (18 vs 6, p = 0.03), corresponding to a higher incidence of CMV mismatch. A cost analysis revealed no difference between total drug costs, intensive-care unit (ICU) costs and total hospital costs. One-year survival was 96% in the DZM group and 88% in the ATG group.


DZM is a safe component of induction therapy in lung transplantation. In addition, DZM may prolong freedom from acute rejection. Significant infections were more frequent in the DZM group, but this was likely due to a higher incidence of CMV mismatch. Both methods of induction therapy worked well, with excellent 1-year survival.

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