Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 12, pp 1888–1896 | Cite as

Early therapy with IgM-enriched polyclonal immunoglobulin in patients with septic shock

  • Ilaria Cavazzuti
  • Giulia Serafini
  • Stefano Busani
  • Laura Rinaldi
  • Emanuela Biagioni
  • Marta Buoncristiano
  • Massimo GirardisEmail author



To determine whether there was an association between adjunctive therapy with IgM-enriched immunoglobulin (IgM) and the 30-day mortality rate in patients with septic shock.


In 2008 we introduced IgM as a possible adjunctive therapy to be provided within 24 h after shock onset in the management protocol for patients with septic shock. In this retrospective study we included the adult patients suitable for IgM therapy admitted to our ICU from January 2008 to December 2011. An unadjusted comparison between patients who did or did not receive IgM therapy, a multivariate logistic model adjusted for confounders and propensity score-based matching were used to evaluate the association between early IgM treatment and mortality.


One hundred and sixty-eight patients were included in the study. Of these, 92 (54.8 %) received IgM therapy. Patients who did or did not receive IgM were similar with regards to infection characteristics, severity scores and sepsis treatment bundle compliance. Patients who received IgM were more likely to have blood cultures before antibiotics and to attain a plateau inspiratory pressure less than 30 cmH2O (p < 0.05). The 30-day mortality rate was reduced by 21.1 % (p < 0.05) in the group that received IgM compared to the group that did not. The multivariate adjusted regression model (OR 0.17; CI 95 % 0.06–0.49; p = 0.001) and the propensity score-based analysis (OR 0.35; CI 95 % 0.14–0.85; p = 0.021) confirmed that IgM therapy was associated with reduced mortality at 30 days after the onset of septic shock.


Our experience indicates that early adjunctive treatment with IgM may be associated with a survival benefit in patients with septic shock. However, additional studies are needed to better evaluate the role of IgM therapy in the early phases of septic shock.


Sepsis Immunoglobulin Shock Sepsis bundles Intensive care 



We wish to thank Mervyn Singer and Matteo Bassetti for critical revisions of the manuscript and their clever suggestions.

Conflicts of interest

Cavazzuti Ilaria and Massimo Girardis have consulted for Biotest-Germany, the remaining authors have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilaria Cavazzuti
    • 1
  • Giulia Serafini
    • 1
  • Stefano Busani
    • 1
  • Laura Rinaldi
    • 1
  • Emanuela Biagioni
    • 1
  • Marta Buoncristiano
    • 1
  • Massimo Girardis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Intensive Care Unit, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive CareUniversity Hospital of ModenaModenaItaly

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