Acquired severe aplastic anemia (SAA) is a life threatening bone marrow failure characterized by pancytopenia and hypocellular bone marrow. Matched sibling donor is not available for majority of the patients and many children receive immunosuppressive therapy (IST). Although horse antithymocyte globuline (ATG) is the preferred option, our patients received rabbit ATG; since horse ATG is not available in Turkey. We reviewed the medical records of children with SAA who were treated with rabbit ATG, cyclosporine, and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF) between 2006 and 2012. Fifteen children with SAA aged between 1.5 and 17 years received rabbit ATG as first line treatment. Only two of them showed partial response and the others did not give any response at 3rd, 6th, and 12th months after the first course of IST. The second course of ATG was given to 8 of the patients; Rabbit ATG at the same dosage was used for 3 of them, and others were given horse ATG. None of the patients responded to the second course of ATG. Invasive fungal infection (IFI) which was seen in 80% of the patients was the most significant problem. Overall survival rate was 60%. The median time between the diagnosis and initiation of IST was 57 (range; 29-144) days. This delay might be significantly contributed to unresponsiveness. In our series, the use of rabbit ATG was not effective for these patients as first line treatment modality. Response rate was very low and the incidence of fungal infections was very high in the SAA patients who received rabbit ATG.
- aplastic anemia