Background. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that 3-days of induction immunosuppression with thymoglobulin was as effective and safe as a 7-day course and reduced initial hospitalization after transplantation. Methods. This was a prospective, nonrandomized trial of 40 consecutive patients receiving thymoglobulin induction for 3 days and followed for 1 year. An historical group of 48 patients that received 7 days of thymoglobulin served as controls. Results. At 1 year, acute rejection (5 vs. 4%), graft survival (95vs. 98%) and patient survival were similar; a composite end point of freedom from death, rejection, or graft loss, the event-free graft survival, was similar as was the safety profile. In the 3-day group, lymphocyte depletion was more sustained and initial hospitalization was significantly shorter (6 vs. 8 days). Conclusion. Three-day induction with thymoglobulin is as effective and safe as seven days, decreases initial hospitalization and causes more sustained lymphocyte depletion.
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