Tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 inhibitor, has shown promise in the treatment of donor-specific antibodies (DSA) and chronic antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in renal transplant recipients. However, its use in lung transplantation has not been described. This retrospective case–control study compared AMR treatments containing TCZ in 9 bilateral lung transplant recipients to 18 patients treated for AMR without TCZ. Treatment with TCZ resulted in more clearance of DSA, lower recurrence of DSA, lower incidence of new DSA, and lower rates of graft failure when compared to those treated for AMR without TCZ. The incidence of infusion reactions, elevation in transaminases, and infections were similar between the 2 groups. These data support a role for TCZ in pulmonary AMR and establish preliminary evidence to design a randomized controlled trial of IL-6 inhibition for the management of AMR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1357
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • antibody-mediated rejection
  • donor-specific antibodies
  • interleukin-6 inhibition
  • lung transplantation
  • tocilizumab


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