Low-dose rabbit antithymocyte globulin versus basiliximab induction therapy in low-risk renal transplant recipients: 8-year follow-up

M. R. Laftavi, Muna A Alnimri, E. Weber-Shrikant, R. Kohli, M. Said, S. Patel, O. Pankewycz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Antibody induction is effective in preventing acute rejection, but its effects on long-term renal allograft function and survival remain controversial. Moreover, given the risks of antibody induction, full-dose lymphocyte-depleting therapy for low-risk patients is usually avoided. However, the benefit and risks associated with low-dose (Lo) rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG; 35 mg/kg total) induction in a low-risk population have not been explored. We now report the long-term outcomes in this patient population. We defined low risk as white, panel-reactive antibody < 30%, and non-Donor with Cardiac Death (DCD) recipients. We compared the risk of acute rejection and graft survival for both living donor (LD) and deceased donor (DD) recipients. The average dose of rATG was 3.1 ± 1.2 mg/kg. Forty DD recipients received basiliximab (BSX) and 145 patients were induced with Lo rATG. Twenty LD recipients received BSX and 64 received Lo rATG. The groups did not differ in demographics, donor characteristics, and maintenance immunosuppression. At 8 years, patient survival was higher for LD patients compared to DD recipients (91% vs 45%, P = .004). In recipients of LD kidneys, 8-year patient survivals were not different comparing Lo rATG and BSX groups (92% vs 91%, respectively, P = .55). In LD, 8-year graft survival was excellent irrespective of induction (Lo rATG 100% vs BSX 98%); however, Lo rATG was associated with a lower rate of acute rejection (7.8% vs 35% BSX, P < .01) and better mean serum creatinine at 3 and 5 years (1.2 vs 1.5, P = .02 and 1.18 vs 1.54, P = .04, respectively). For DD, Lo rATG was associated with a better long-term graft survival (86% vs 76% BSX, P = .02). Viral infections and cancer rates were similar for Lo rATG and BSX. Thus, we conclude that Lo rATG induction may add long-term benefit in low-risk patients compared to anti-interleukin-2 receptor therapy without incurring additional risks of infectious or malignant diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-461
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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