Background: Chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) is the leading cause of death beyond the first year after lung transplantation. Several treatments have been used to prevent the progression or reverse the effects of CLAD. Cytolytic therapy with rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG) has previously shown to be a potential option. However, the effect on patients with restrictive allograft syndrome (RAS) versus bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) and the effect of cumulative dosing are unknown. Methods: The charts of lung transplant patients treated with rATG at Barnes-Jewish Hospital from 2009 to 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. The primary outcome was response to rATG; patients were deemed responders if their FEV1 improved in the 6 months after rATG treatment. Safety endpoints included incidence of serum sickness, cytokine release syndrome, malignancy, and infectious complications. Results: 108 patients were included in this study; 43 (40%) patients were responders who experienced an increase in FEV1 after rATG therapy. No predictors of response to rATG therapy were identified. Serum sickness occurred in 22% of patients, 15% experienced cytokine release syndrome, and 19% developed an infection after therapy. Conclusion: 40% of patients with CLAD have an improvement in lung function after treatment with rATG although the improvement was typically minimal.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13708
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • chronic lung allograft dysfunction
  • lung transplantation
  • rabbit antithymocyte globulin


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