Antithymocyte globulin therapy in autoimmune diseases

G. Zandman-Goddart*, P. Langevitz, Y. Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A review of therapy with intravenous antithymocyte globulin (ATG) in autoimmune disease is presented. 34 patients with severe, refractory, systemic sclerosis (13 patients), rheumatoid arthritis (17) and systemic lupus erythematosus (4) received a single course of ATG, 3-15 mg/kg/day for 5-15 days. This resulted in prompt (1-4 weeks) and prolonged (10-49 months) improvement of glomerulonephritis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, pulmonary fibrosis and skin and joint involvement in many cases. Adverse effects included: fever and chills within hours of injection, serum sickness and bacterial and viral infections. The prolonged effects of ATG are not yet clear, but may be related to the depletion of pathological T cell populations, and the regeneration of new T cells that may have a suppressor effect on autoimmune phenomena. We suggest that ATG may be used as alternative therapy in certain patients with refractory autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4+64
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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