International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-017-2179-3 Pages: 578-586

Meta-analysis of treatment with rabbit and horse antithymocyte globulin for aplastic anemia

1. Jichi Medical University, Division of Hematology, Saitama Medical Center

2. Jichi Medical University, Division of Hematology

Correspondence to:
Yoshinobu Kanda
Tel: +81-48-647-2111
Email: ycanda-tky@umin.ac.jp

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Abstract

Aplastic anemia patients who received rabbit antithymocyte globulin exhibited response and survival rates inferior to those who received horse antithymocyte globulin in several studies. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to compare rabbit and horse antithymocyte globulin as immunosuppressive therapy for aplastic anemia. We searched online databases for studies that compared antithymocyte globulin regimens as first-line treatment for aplastic anemia, including both randomized and non-randomized controlled trials. The early mortality rate at 3 months and overall response rate at 6 months were evaluated. Thirteen studies were included in the analysis. The risk ratio (RR) of early mortality for rabbit vs. horse antithymocyte globulin was 1.33 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.69–2.57; P = 0.39], with significant heterogeneity. A sensitivity analysis suggested higher early mortality rate in patients who received rabbit antithymocyte globulin. The overall response rate was significantly higher in patients who received horse antithymocyte globulin (RR 1.27; 95% CI 1.05–1.54; P = 0.015). In conclusion, in aplastic anemia patients treated with ATG, early mortality rate was not significantly different in patients receiving horse or rabbit ATG, although a sensitivity analysis showed higher early mortality in the rabbit ATG group. Horse ATG was associated with significantly higher response rate than rabbit ATG.

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