Evaluating the impact of antithymocyte globulin on lung function at 1 year after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Volume 17, Issue 5, p.703-9 (2011)


2011, Administration, Oral, Adult, Animals, Antilymphocyte Serum, Busulfan, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Cyclophosphamide, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Graft vs Host Disease, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, lung, Male, Middle Aged, Myeloablative Agonists, Pulmonary Diffusing Capacity, Rabbits, Research Trials Office Core Facility - Biostatistics Service, Retrospective Studies, Shared Resources, Time Factors, Transplantation Conditioning, Transplantation, Homologous, Vidarabine, Vital Capacity


The use of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) conditioning regimens has reduced the incidence of graft-versus-host disease, particularly in its chronic form. The impact of this approach on the prevention of lung dysfunction has not been well characterized, however. We performed a retrospective analysis of pulmonary function in patients who underwent HSCT after conditioning with oral busulfan followed by either cyclophosphamide or fludarabine with or without the addition of ATG. A total of 393 patients were included; 75 patients received ATG, and 318 did not. No differences between the 2 groups were seen in the mean percentage of the predicted values for forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)), forced vital capacity (FVC), total lung capacity, and lung CO diffusing capacity at 80 days or 1 year after transplantation. However, the mean value of FEV(1)/FVC ratio at 1 year was higher in the patients who received ATG. The difference in mean change in pulmonary function parameters from baseline to 1 year post-HSCT was statistically nonsignificant for all parameters except FEV(1)/FVC ratio, which demonstrated less decline in the ATG group. The risk of developing severe airflow obstruction or a restrictive pattern was similar in the 2 treatment groups at 1 year post-HSCT. Incorporation of ATG into the HSCT conditioning regimen provided protection against a decline in FEV(1)/FVC ratio but did not decrease the risk of other pulmonary events that we evaluated within the first year after HSCT. Further evaluations in larger numbers of patients are needed to better clarify the role of ATG in the development of delayed pulmonary complications.