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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014 Aug;20(8):1156-62. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.04.007. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

High serum level of antithymocyte globulin immediately before graft infusion is associated with a low likelihood of chronic, but not acute, graft-versus-host disease.

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University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:
University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Rabbit antithymocyte globulin (ATG) is administered during transplant conditioning to decrease the risk of both acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Here we evaluated the relationship between the serum concentration of ATG (capable of binding to lymphocytes) immediately before graft infusion (day 0) or on day +7 or +28 post-transplantation and the development of aGVHD or cGVHD. We studied 180 patients whose conditioning included 4.5 mg/kg antithymocyte globulin (ATG; Thymoglobulin). For aGVHD, we found no association with ATG levels on day 0. Nevertheless, high day +7 and +28 ATG levels were associated with a low likelihood of aGVHD. For cGVHD, high ATG levels at all 3 time points (days 0, +7, and +28) were associated with a low likelihood of cGVHD. In conclusion, high-dose ATG administration at the time of graft infusion appears to inhibit the development of cGVHD, but not aGVHD; however, higher ATG levels on days +7 and +28 are associated with lower rates of both aGVHD and cGVHD.


Acute GVHD; Antithymocyte globulin; Chronic GVHD

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