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Drugs. 1992 Jan;43(1):6-14.

Intravenous immune globulins. A review of their uses in selected immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.


Intravenous immune globulin (IGIV) was introduced a decade ago as a therapy for primary immunodeficiency diseases. It proved to be a valuable therapeutic substance for this purpose and is now considered to be the treatment of choice. The intent was to supply ubiquitous anti-infectious agent antibodies through passive immunisation to replace deficient circulating antibody content. During such therapy, unexpected benefits were noted in thrombocytopenic patients. Since that time, the therapeutic indications for IGIV infusions have greatly increased, with a particular interest in infectious, haematological and autoimmune diseases. This review summarises the status of IGIV therapy in haematological diseases within the categories of primary immunodeficiency diseases, secondary immunodeficiency states and autoimmune syndromes. The majority of firm data have been gathered on the treatment of patients with primary immunodeficiency disease. These data are reviewed from the aspect of anticipated therapeutic response and side effects. Emphasis should be placed on the IgG circulating blood levels as there is a need for individualizing therapy because of marked interindividual patient variation. The use of IGIV therapy in primary and secondary immunodeficiency states should consider the potential benefits to be attained in haematological malignancies and related complications which may be magnified by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The mode of action of IGIV in autoimmune diseases, although not yet precisely determined, may involve establishing reticuloendothelial blockade or immunomodulation by supplying anti-idiotype antibodies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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