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J Burn Care Rehabil. 2004 May-Jun;25(3):246-55.

Intravenous immunoglobulin does not improve outcome in toxic epidermal necrolysis.

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Ross Tilley Burn Center and Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Canada.


Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) has been proposed as a beneficial therapy for toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). However, this has been based on a limited amount of Class 5 evidence. To compare outcomes in TEN patients treated in our burn unit since 1999, when we began to use IVIG (IG group), with TEN patients treated between 1995 and 1999 who did not receive IVIG (control group). Retrospective cohort review of the records of all TEN patients admitted between April 5, 1995 and December 4, 2002. There were 16 patients in the IG group (age 53 +/- 21 years, with initial rash involving 65 +/- 29% TBSA) and 16 patients in the control group (age 52 +/- 20 years, with initial rash involving 65 +/- 27% TBSA). The IG group received 0.7 +/- 0.2 g/kg/day of IVIG for 4 +/- 1 days. There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, severity of systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, or the incidence of sepsis. Significant progression of the wound occurred in 13% of the IG patients and in 27% of control patients, whereas no wound progression was observed in 47% of the IG patients and in 18% of the control patients (P =.299). The time to healing did not differ between IG and control groups (11.2 +/- 3.6 vs 11.4 +/- 2.6 days, respectively). There was no significant difference in the mortality rate between the IG group (25%) and the control group (38%). There were no complications from IVIG aside from one case of hyponatremia from the hypotonic IVIG solution. Although there may have been a trend towards less severe wound progression in patients who received IVIG, this was not associated with any substantial improvement in outcome in our TEN patients. A prospective randomized study with a larger sample size is needed to confirm our findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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