, Volume 38, Issue 2-3, pp 201-269
Date: 10 Jul 2009

Evidence for the Use of Intravenous Immunoglobulins—A Review of the Literature

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Intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) were first introduced in the middle of the twentieth century for the treatment of primary immunodeficiencies. In 1981, Paul Imbach noticed an improvement of immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, in patients receiving IVIg for immunodeficiencies. This opened a new era for the treatment of autoimmune conditions with IVIg. Since then, IVIg has become an important treatment option in a wide spectrum of diseases, including autoimmune and acute inflammatory conditions, most of them off-label (not included in the US Food and Drug Administration recommendation). A panel of immunologists and internists with experience in IVIg therapy reviewed the medical literature for published data concerning treatment with IVIg. The quality of evidence was assessed, and a summary of the available relevant literature in each disease was given. To our knowledge, this is the first all-inclusive comprehensive review, developed to assist the clinician when considering the use of IVIg in autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, and other conditions.