The incidence and significance of fevers during treatment with antithymocyte globulin for aplastic anaemia

Br J Haematol. 1998 Dec;103(3):846-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1998.01047.x.


Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) is a foreign protein used widely to treat aplastic anaemia (AA). Febrile reactions occurring during its administration may be impossible to distinguish clinically from fever due to sepsis, and are therefore routinely treated with intravenous antibiotics after collection of blood cultures. A statistically highly significant difference was found in positive blood cultures between 39 AA patients who developed fever during ATG therapy, and 38 febrile neutropenic patients with acute leukaemia. suggesting that most fevers developing during ATG treatment are not due to infection. It may therefore be reasonable to consider early discontinuation of intravenous antibiotics in patients who are clinically stable and have no proven sepsis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia, Aplastic / complications
  • Anemia, Aplastic / microbiology
  • Anemia, Aplastic / therapy*
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Opportunistic Infections / complications
  • Opportunistic Infections / microbiology


  • Antilymphocyte Serum