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      Subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy in the treatment of patients with primary immunodeficiency disease

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          Antibody deficiency is the most frequently encountered primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) and patients who lack the ability to make functional immunoglobulin require life-long replacement therapy to prevent serious bacterial infections. Human serum immunoglobulin manufactured from pools of donated plasma can be administered intramuscularly, intravenously or subcutaneously. With the advent of well-tolerated preparations of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in the 1980s, the suboptimal painful intramuscular route of administration is no longer used. However, some patients continued to experience unacceptable adverse reactions to the intravenous preparations, and for others, vascular access remained problematic. Subcutaneously administered immunoglobulin (SCIg) provided an alternative delivery method to patients experiencing difficulties with IVIg. By 2006, immunoglobulin preparations designed exclusively for subcutaneous administration became available. They are therapeutically equivalent to intravenous preparations and offer patients the additional flexibility for the self-administration of their product at home. SCIg as replacement therapy for patients with primary antibody deficiencies is a safe and efficacious method to prevent serious bacterial infections, while maximizing patient satisfaction and improving quality of life.

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           C Bruton (1952)
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            Children and adults with primary antibody deficiencies gain quality of life by subcutaneous IgG self-infusions at home.

            A large number of children and adults with primary antibody deficiencies need lifelong IgG replacement therapy. It is mostly unknown what effect the choice of replacement therapy has on the patients' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and treatment satisfaction (TS). To investigate whether a switch from hospital-based intravenous IgG (IVIG) to home-based subcutaneous IgG (SCIG) therapy would improve the HRQOL and TS. Fifteen children ( or =14 years; 22 on hospital-based IVIG and 10 on home-based SCIG therapy at enrollment) were included. Questionnaires were completed at baseline and at 6 and 10 months: the Child Health Questionnaire-Parental Form 50 (children) or Short Form 36 (adults), the Life Quality Index, and questions regarding therapy preferences. The SCIG home therapy was reported to give better health (P=.001) and improved school/social functioning (P=.02) for the children, reduced emotional distress (P=.02) and limitations on personal time for the parents (P=.004), and fewer limitations on family activities (P=.002). Adults switching therapy reported improved vitality (P=.04), mental health ( P=.05), and social functioning ( P=.01). Adults already on SCIG home therapy at enrollment retained high HRQOL and TS scores. The SCIG home therapy improved TS because it led to greater independence and better therapy convenience ( P <.05). The patients preferred the SCIG administration route and having the treatment at home. Home-based SCIG therapy improves several important aspects of HRQOL and provides the patients with primary antibody deficiencies and their families with greater independence and better control of the therapy situation and daily life. SCIG home therapy is an appreciated therapeutic alternative for adults and children in need of lifelong IgG replacement therapy.
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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.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                2 February 2010
                : 6
                : 1-10
                Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Hans D Ochs, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, 1900 Ninth Ave., C9S-7, Seattle, WA 98101, USA, Tel +1 206 987 7318, Fax +1 206 987 7310, Email hans.ochs@ 123456seattlechildrens.org
                © 2010 Skoda-Smith et al, 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.



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