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Hum Reprod. 2006 Feb;21(2):429-35. Epub 2005 Oct 6.

Adverse effects of intradermal allogeneic lymphocyte immunotherapy: acute reactions and role of autoimmunity.

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  • 1Institute of Immunology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Michaelisstr. 5, D-24105 Kiel, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Hum Reprod. 2006 Aug;21(8):2198.



Immunotherapy with allogeneic lymphocytes was introduced as a therapeutic option for selected infertile couples in different centres worldwide 20 years ago. It has been suggested for other indications as well, e.g. for pregnant women at risk of a child with Rhesus-D haemolytic disease, or as a vaccine which might reduce the receptiveness for HIV-1 infection. Here we report on our experience on adverse side-effects of intradermal lymphocyte immunotherapy (LIT) for infertile couples using partner's lymphocytes.


Prospective 4 week follow-up of all couples from 2000 to 2003 for acute reactions (feedback 2687/3246 [corrected] 83%). All couples treated between 1996 and 2002 received questionnaires after 2-3 years (feedback 1914/3041, 63%).


Local reactions predominantly consisted of redness and itching for approximately 2 weeks. Systemic reactions could be attributed to LIT in 6-8%. Blisters at the injection sites were characteristic of LIT but not dependent on the HLA class I mismatch status between cell donor and host. The incidence of autoimmune disease was 0.1%. Four patients developed thromboembolism in pregnancy which was not ascribed to antiphospholipid syndrome.


Acute side-effects are comparable to those reported after intradermal vaccination for infectious diseases. Specific risks for anaphylaxis, autoimmune or graft versus host disease were not detected.

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