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Clin Chem Lab Med. 1999 Mar;37(3):341-9.

Supplemental immune globulins in sepsis.

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Department of Medicine, Martin-Luther-Universit├Ąt Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.


Intravenous immune globulins are widely used as supplemental treatment of sepsis, septic shock and systemic inflammation in the critically ill, although this indication has at best been validated in part. Likely beneficial mechanisms of action may include the improvement of serum bactericidal activity due to neutralizing and opsonizing immunoglobulin (Ig)G- and IgM-antibodies, as well as stimulation of phagocytosis and neutralization of bacterial endo- and exotoxins; another attractive mode of action may represent immune globulin-mediated modification and specific suppression of proinflammatory cytokine release from endotoxin- and superantigen-activated blood cells. For the "entire group of patients with sepsis and septic shock" a reduction in mortality by intravenous immune globulin could not be documented; however, in the score-based immunoglobulin in sepsis (SBITS)-study with 653 patients included, a moderate improvement in sepsis morbidity and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome was demonstrated. In defined sepsis subgroups, a reduction in mortality by intravenous immune globulin has been seen in individual small, not yet confirmed trials. Finally, the incidence of some severe infections in well characterized "patients at risk" and "operations at risk" is reduced by intravenous immune globulin prophylaxis. Thus, intravenous immune globulin is not a "magic bullet"of sepsis treatment, but it may reduce morbidity and thereby represent a useful piece of stone in the therapeutic mosaic of sepsis treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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