Methotrexate for the treatment of patients with multiple episodes of acute cardiac allograft rejection

J. D. Hosenpud, R. E. Hershberger, R. R. Ratkovec, H. Hovaguimian, G. Ott, A. Cobanoglu, D. Norman

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11 Scopus citations


Of 142 cardiac allograft recipients who underwent transplantation from December 1985 to January 1991, four women and seven men (mean age, 41 ± 14 years) required multiple (10.5 ± 3.3) courses of antirejection treatment over a total follow-up period of 30 ± 15 months. The underlying heart disease was cardiomyopathy in six patients and coronary disease in five patients. These patients were treated with methotrexate (10 mg/wk for 6 weeks). Rejection treatment before methotrexate therapy included six courses of OKT3, one course of antithymocyte globulin, 33 courses of high-dose steroids, and 45 courses of low-dose steroids for the entire group. The average number of rejection treatments per patient before methotrexate therapy was 8.7 ± 3.5 treatments or 0.90 ± 0.51 treatments per month of follow-up. After methotrexate therapy the average number of rejection treatments fell to 1.7 ± 1.1 treatments or 0.11 ± 0.08 treatments per month of follow-up (p = 0.0002). Seven patients responded to a single course of methotrexate therapy; three patients required two courses (second course, 20 mg/wk for 6 weeks), and one patient required three courses of methotrexate therapy. The only complication associated with methotrexate therapy was one patient in whom cytomegalovirus interstitial pneumonitis developed while on therapy. Methotrexate was well tolerated and appeared to be effective in halting repeated episodes of rejection in this subset of patients who have had multiple episodes of acute rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-745
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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