Anti-thymocyte globulin in haematology: Recent developments

Salahuddin Siddiqui, Jessica Cox, Roger Herzig, Senthilnathan Palaniyandi, Gerhard Hildebrandt, Reinhold Munker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) is a polyclonal antiserum introduced into clinical medicine more than 30 years ago. It induces a broad non-specific immunosuppression. In haematology, standard indications are severe aplastic anaemia and prophylaxis and treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (after allogeneic transplantation). For aplastic anaemia, ATG from horses has been found to be superior to ATG from rabbits. In the situation of allogeneic transplantation, ATG lessens the risk of chronic GVHD but may not improve survival. There is current controversy regarding which patients benefit most from ATG and what the ideal dosage is. It is likely that in the coming years a more specific immunosuppressive will be developed that will minimize GVHD while maintaining the graft-versus-malignancy effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors thank Ms Donna Gilbreath, Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, USA, for manuscript editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Indian Journal of Medical Research, published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow for Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research.


  • Anti-thymocyte globulin
  • graft-versus-host disease
  • immunosuppressive effect
  • myelodysplastic syndrome
  • severe aplastic anaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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