Single-shot antithymocyte globulin (ATG) induction for pancreas/kidney transplantation: ATG-Fresenius versus Thymoglobulin

T Schulz, G Papapostolou, P Schenker, M Kapischke
Transplantation Proceedings 2005, 37 (2): 1301-4
Single-shot antithymocyte globulin (ATG) prior to reperfusion followed by tacrolimus (TAC), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and prednisolone (PRD) is an established induction therapy in simultaneous pancreas kidney transplant (SPK) recipients. We retrospectively analyzed 6-month data from 105 patients who received their first SPK. From January 1996 to December 2000, ATG-Fresenius was used. Since January 2001, Thymoglobulin has been administered. In the first group, 58 patients were treated with ATG-Fresenius (4-6 mg/kg body weight). In the second group, 47 patients received Thymoglobulin (1.5-2.5 mg/kg body weight). HLA-mismatch was comparable. After an observation period of 6 months, patients, kidney, and pancreas graft survival is 98.3%, 96.6%, and 93.1% in group I and 97.9%, 97.9%, and 85.1% in group II, respectively. In each group, one death with functioning graft (DWFG) was observed. Twenty (34.5%) acute rejection episodes (AR) were observed (18 patients) in group I. They were treated with steroids (n = 16) or steroids/OKT3 (n = 4). One kidney graft failure was observed due to rejection and one due to DWFG. Four pancreas grafts were lost (thrombosis, n = 2; AR, n = 1; DWFG, n = 1). In group II, 15 AR (31.9%) were seen in 12 patients and were treated with steroids (n = 12), steroids/ATG (n = 1), or steroids/OKT3 (n = 2). Seven pancreas (thrombosis, n = 5; rejection, n = 1; DWFG, n = 1) and one kidney (DWFG, n = 1) graft losses occurred. These data clearly establish that single-shot ATG prior to reperfusion, followed by TAC, MMF, and PRD results in a low incidence of AR (34.5% in group I and 31.9% in group II) after SPK. Only 6.9% (group I) and 6.4% (group II) of the patients received antibodies for rejection treatment.

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