To induce or not to induce: a 21st century evaluation of lung transplant immunosuppression's effect on survival

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Introduction:The impact of induction immunosuppression on long-term survival in lung transplant recipients remains unclear. We sought to evaluate the effect of contemporary induction immunosuppression agents in lung transplant recipients' survival, utilizing national registry data.Methods:We queried the United Network for Organ Sharing registry from 2001 to 2012 for adult, deceased donor lung transplants who received no antibody-based induction (NONE) or the contemporary agents of basiliximab, alemtuzumab, thymoglobulin, antilymphocyte globulin, or antithymocyte globulin (INDUCED). Kaplan–Meier estimates of the survival and Cox proportional hazards models assessed differences in overall survival between the INDUCED and NONE groups; logistic regression models assessed differences in survival and rejection (TR1Y).Results:There were 23 951 lung transplants performed with 12 858 meeting the inclusion criteria; 5713 (44%) were INDUCED. Of INDUCED agents, 62% were basiliximab and 14% alemtuzumab. Being INDUCED significantly increased overall survival (p < 0.0001). Median INDUCED survival was 71.3 months (confidence interval [CI]: 65.7–75.5) as compared with 63.2 months (CI: 60.1–65.9). Of INDUCED, both basiliximab and alemtuzumab had higher median survival times at 75.1 months (CI: 68.6–81.3) and 75.5 months (CI: 63.5–∞), respectively. There was less TR1Y in INDUCED patients (37%), as compared to NONE (42%; p < 0.0001).Conclusion:In a contemporary analysis of lung transplant recipients, induction immunosuppression has a significantly positive effect on survival.

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