March 2, 2017

An avoidable cause of thymoglobulin anaphylaxis


  • S. BrabantEmail author,
  • A. Facon,
  • F. ProvĂ´t,
  • M. Labalette,
  • B. Wallaert and
  • C. Chenivesse
Thymoglobulin® (anti-thymocyte globulin [rabbit]) is a purified pasteurised, gamma immune globulin obtained by immunisation of rabbits with human thymocytes. Anaphylactic allergic reactions to a first injection of thymoglobulin are rare.
Case presentation
We report a case of serious anaphylactic reaction occurring after a first intraoperative injection of thymoglobulin during renal transplantation in a patient with undiagnosed respiratory allergy to rabbit allergens.
This case report reinforces the importance of identifying rabbit allergy by a simple combination of clinical interview followed by confirmatory skin testing or blood tests of all patients prior to injection of thymoglobulin, which is formally contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to rabbit proteins.

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