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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2011 May;37(5):396-404. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2010.11.027. Epub 2011 Jan 26.

Immunoglobulin treatment in primary antibody deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The primary antibody deficiency syndromes are characterised by recurrent respiratory tract infections and the inability to produce effective immunoglobulin (Ig) responses. The best-known primary antibody deficiencies are common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA), immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass deficiency, and selective antibody deficiency with normal immunoglobulins (SADNI). Therapy in these patients consists of prophylactic antibiotics and/or Ig replacement therapy. Diagnostic delay remains common owing to limited awareness of the presenting features and may result in increased morbidity and mortality. Replacement therapy with immunoglobulins increases life expectancy and reduces the frequency and severity of infections, but the effect on end-organ damage is still unknown. Both intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) treatment appear to be safe, with comparable efficacy. A starting dose of 300-400 mg/kg/month in IVIg and 100 mg/week for SCIg is recommended. IgG trough levels should be >5 g/L for patients with agammaglobulinaemia and 3 g/L greater than the initial IgG level for patients with CVID; however, the clinical response should be foremost in choosing the dose and trough level. Infusion-related adverse reactions are generally mild owing to improved manufacturing processes. In this paper, aspects of Ig replacement therapy in primary antibody-deficient patients will be addressed.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

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