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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2011 Dec 1;68(23):2276-82. doi: 10.2146/ajhp110120.

Clinical and economic analysis of short-course versus standard-course antithymocyte globulin (rabbit) induction therapy in deceased-donor renal transplant recipients.

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Department of Pharmacy, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.



The immunosuppressive effects of and costs associated with short-course antithymocyte globulin rabbit (ATG [rabbit]) therapy versus standard-course ATG (rabbit) therapy in deceased-donor renal transplant recipients were evaluated.


The records of 84 consecutive patients who received a deceased-donor renal transplant at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation in 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Donor and recipient characteristics, including rates of biopsy-confirmed acute rejection, serum creatinine (SCr) levels, and frequency of complications, and drug costs were collected. Patients were excluded if they had donor-specific antibodies identified before transplantation or hepatitis-C-positive serology or were under 18 years of age.


A total of 60 patients were included in the study, with 28 receiving short-course ATG (rabbit) therapy and 32 receiving standard-course ATG (rabbit) therapy. Baseline patient demographic characteristics were similar between groups. Six months after transplantation, biopsy-confirmed acute rejection episodes did not significantly differ between the short-course ATG (rabbit) and standard-course ATG (rabbit) groups (17.8% versus 12.5%, respectively), nor did SCr concentrations (1.56 mg/dL versus 1.85 mg/dL). The frequency of therapy-related leukopenia was greater in patients receiving standard-course ATG (rabbit). Patients treated with short-course ATG (rabbit) received a total mean dose of 4.6 mg/kg, compared with 7.3 mg/kg for patients in the standard-course ATG (rabbit) group, resulting in a mean cost saving of $2548 per patient.


After six months, there were no significant differences in biopsy- confirmed acute rejection episodes or SCr levels between deceased-donor renal transplant recipients receiving short-course versus standard-course ATG (rabbit) induction therapy. The mean cost saving associated with short-course therapy was $2548 per patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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