Background: The Thymoglobulin Antibody Immunosuppression in Living Donor Recipients registry was established to assess clinical experience with rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG; Thymoglobulin) in living donor renal transplant recipients.
Methods: From 2003 to 2008, US transplant centers prospectively entered information on patients who received rATG induction. In addition to standard United Network for Organ Sharing registry data elements, information was collected regarding immunosuppression, viral prophylaxis, acute rejection, and adverse events.
Results: Data on 2322 patients from 49 transplant centers were enrolled and met inclusion criteria for analysis. Patient and graft survival were 99.3% and 99.0% at 6 months and 98.4% and 98.2% at 12 months as recorded in Thymoglobulin Antibody Immunosuppression in Living Donor Recipients registry and were 91.5% and 83.2% at 5 years by Kaplan-Meier estimates based on linked United Network for Organ Sharing registry records. Freedom from rejection was 93.6% through 5 years. Mean rATG cumulative dose was 5.29 mg/kg. More than one-third of patients (37.6%) were steroid-free at discharge, and nearly half of patients (48%) were steroid-free at 12 months. Before discharge, 3.2% experienced serious adverse events, with 11 events (0.005%) reported as possibly or probably related to rATG. Incidence of cytomegalovirus infection was 4.2% at 12 months, and 99.1% of patients were posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder-free through 5 years.
Conclusions: rATG induction in living donor renal transplantation is safe and associated with a low incidence of acute rejection and posttransplantation complications.