Polyclonal versus monoclonal rejection prophylaxis after heart transplantation: a randomised study
Recent studies comparing the effects of induction therapy with polyclonal antilymphocyte globulins (ALG) or with monoclonal T-cell-specific antibodies are not unanimous. Therefore, 55 heart recipients were allocated to either 7-day courses of polyclonal ALG (n = 28) or of monoclonal OKT3 (n = 27). Additionally, azathioprine and low dose steroids were given. There were no severe side effects after OKT3; the course of ALG, however, had to be discontinued in 20 patients because of extensive flares. No differences between the two groups were found in freedom from rejection or in the incidence of infection. The 1- and 2-year survival was 96% in both groups. Although monoclonal and polyclonal induction therapies are equally effective for rejection prophylaxis, OKT3 may be preferred because of a lack of important side effects. However, the fact that a shorter course of ALG is equally effective may be in favour of ALG.
Key wordsHeart transplantation Rejection prophylaxis Polyclonal/monoclonal antibodies
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