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      Human normal immunoglobulin in the treatment of primary immunodeficiency diseases

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          Abstract

          The primary antibody deficiency syndromes are a rare group of disorders that can present at any age, and for which delay in diagnosis remains common. Replacement therapy with immunoglobulin in primary antibody deficiencies increases life expectancy and reduces the frequency and severity of infection. Higher doses of immunoglobulin are associated with reduced frequency of infection. Late diagnosis and delayed institution of immunoglobulin replacement therapy results in increased morbidity with a wide variety of organ-specific complications and increased mortality. Risks of immunoglobulin therapy are minimized by modern manufacturing processes, although patients can experience both immediate and delayed adverse reactions, and concerns remain over the transmission of prions in plasma. Immunoglobulin therapy leads to improvements in overall quality of life, and many of the improvements relate to reduced infection rates and fear of future infections, strongly suggesting that the immunoglobulin therapy itself is the major factor in this improvement. There are limited data on the economic benefits of immunoglobulin therapy, with the fluctuating costs of immunoglobulins making comparison between different studies difficult. However, estimates suggest that early intervention with immunoglobulin replacement compares favorably with prolonged therapy for other more common chronic diseases.

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          Most cited references 49

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          Efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin in the prevention of pneumonia in patients with common variable immunodeficiency.

          Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immune disorder characterized by antibody deficiency and a decrease in serum IgG and IgA, IgM, or both levels at least 2 SDs below the mean for age and not attributed to other known immunologic disorders. These patients often present with frequent and severe episodes of pneumonia before diagnosis. The standard treatment, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), has been available for the past 20 years. No large-scale study has compared the incidence of pneumonia in these patients before and after IVIG treatment. The aim of this study was to document the effectiveness of intravenous immunoglobulin treatment on the incidence of pneumonia in patients with CVID. We performed chart reviews and interviews of patients with laboratory-confirmed CVID seen at our clinical center. The number of episodes of pneumonia was documented before and after treatment with immunoglobulin replacement therapy. The histories of 50 patients were reviewed (mean current age, 42 +/- 16.3 years; age range, 10-78 years; 20 male and 30 female patients). Forty-two (84%) of the 50 patients with CVID had pneumonia at least once before receiving immunoglobulin treatment, and 11 of 42 of these patients had multiple episodes. After treatment with gamma globulin over a mean period of 6.6 +/- 5.2 years (range, <1-20 years), the number of patients experiencing pneumonia significantly decreased to 11 (22%) of 50. In most cases these patients had pneumonia in the first year of immunoglobulin treatment. The treatment of CVID with IVIG significantly reduces the incidence of pneumonia.
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            The comparison of the efficacy and safety of intravenous versus subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy.

            To compare the efficacy of immunoglobulin replacement therapy given intravenously versus subcutaneously to prevent infections in patients with primary antibody deficiency syndromes, an international, multicenter, open label, crossover study was designed. Forty patients were randomized to receive either subcutaneous or intravenous immunoglobulin replacement therapy for 1 year. In the second year, patients were switched to the alternative treatment, enabling patients to act as their own controls. Equivalent doses were given by both routes. Ethical approval was obtained from the review boards of the hospitals in which the patients were seen and written consent obtained from each patient. Patients with a primary antibody deficiency syndrome, either common variable immunodeficiency or IgG subclass deficiency or specific antibody deficiency, who required immunoglobulin replacement therapy were included in the study. Patients were excluded if they had significant thrombocytopenia (defined as platelets less than 50 x 10(9)/liter), had high levels of anti-IgA antibodies (defined as greater than 1:8192), or had severe adverse reactions to a blood product within the last 2 years. The primary end point was the number of infections and their severity (moderate and major) during the two treatment periods. Secondary end points were adverse reactions, length of infections, days lost from school or work due to infections, and acceptability of treatment regimens to the patients. Based on the assumption that it was difficult to prove equivalence of therapies statistically in crossover studies, an arbitrary number of 40 patients was selected on the basis that this might be achievable in 2 years. There are no significant differences in efficacy or adverse reaction rates between immunoglobulin replacement therapy given subcutaneously or intravenously.
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              Subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement in patients with primary antibody deficiencies: safety and costs.

              Immunoglobulins (IgG) as replacement therapy in primary antibody deficiencies can be given as intramuscular injections, or as intravenous or subcutaneous infusions. Our aims were to obtain information on the frequency of adverse systemic reactions during subcutaneous therapy, the occurrence and intensity of tissue reactions at the infusion sites, and serum IgG changes. Furthermore, we compared costs between the different replacement regimes. Our study included 165 patients (69 women, 96 men, aged 13-76 years) with primary hypogammaglobulinaemia or IgG-subclass deficiencies. Data were compiled from questionnaires filled in by the patients and from their medical records. 33,168 subcutaneous infusions (27,030 in home therapy) had been given. 106 (of which 16 were at home) adverse systemic reactions (100 mild, 6 moderate) were recorded in 28 patients (17%). No severe or anaphylactoid reactions occurred. Despite large immunoglobulin volumes given during 434 patient years (28,480 infusions), no signs have been found that indicate the transmission of hepatitis virus. Transient tissue reactions occurred at the infusion sites but were not troublesome to most patients and we found significant increases in mean serum IgG. The use of subcutaneous instead of intravenous infusions at home would reduce the yearly cost per patient for the health-care sector by US $10,100 in Sweden alone. We conclude that subcutaneous administration of IgG is a safe and convenient method of providing immunoglobulins. We were able to reach serum IgG concentrations similar to those by the intravenous therapy and we found that the method could also be used successfully in patients with previous severe or anaphylactoid reactions to intramuscular injections.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2012
                2012
                02 April 2012
                : 8
                : 157-167
                Affiliations
                St James University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Philip Wood, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, United Kingdom, Tel +44 11 3206 7256, Fax +44 11 3206 7250, Email philipwood1@ 123456nhs.net
                Article
                tcrm-8-157
                10.2147/TCRM.S22599
                3333462
                22547934
                © 2012 Wood, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                common variable immunodeficiency, immunoglobulin therapy, antibody deficiency

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