Background. Antithymocyte globulin is frequently used as a component of induction therapy in thoracic organ transplantation. This study evaluates the utility of monitoring peripheral CD3 lymphocytes to rationally adjust antithymocyte globulin therapy in this patient population. Methods. A total of 17 heart and 19 lung transplant recipients received antithymocyte globulin (ATGAM or thymoglobulin) as induction therapy or to treat steroid-resistant acute or chronic rejection. Absolute CD3 counts were maintained between 50 and 100 cells/μl. Results. With CD3 monitoring, the doses of antithymocyte globulin were reduced from 10-15 mg/kg to 1-5 mg/kg during the course of therapy. The total amount of antithymocyte globulin given to each CD3 monitored patient was reduced by 48%. Dose reduction did not alter the number of acute rejection or infectious episodes, and hematological side effects were infrequent. Conclusion. CD3 monitoring of antithymocyte globulin therapy in thoracic organ recipients reduced the amount of drug received by each patient, while maintaining CD3 counts less than 100 cells/μl.