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Am J Med. 1997 Jul;103(1):38-43.

Intravenous immunoglobulin is ineffective in the treatment of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

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1
Inflammation Research Unit, School of Pathology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine whether the reported therapeutic benefit of intravenous immunoglobulin in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is dose dependent.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Ninety-nine adult patients, who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for CFS, participated in this double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial. Patients received intravenous infusions with either a placebo solution (1% albumin) or one of three doses of immunoglobulin (0.5, 1, or 2 g/kg) on a monthly basis for 3 months, followed by a treatment-free follow-up period of 3 months. Outcome was assessed by changes in a series of self-reported measures (quality-of-life visual analog scales, standardized diaries of daily activities, the profile of mood states questionnaire) and the Karnofsky performance scale. Cell-mediated immunity was evaluated by T-cell subset analysis and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin testing.

RESULTS:

No dose of intravenous immunoglobulin was associated with a specific therapeutic benefit. Adverse reactions, typically constitutional symptoms, were reported by 70% to 80% of patients, with no relationship to immunoglobulin treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Intravenous immunoglobulin cannot be recommended as a therapy for the treatment of CFS. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of this disorder is needed before effective treatment can be developed.

PMID:
9236484
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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