Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1180–1192 | Cite as

Home-Based Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Versus Hospital-Based Intravenous Immunoglobulin in Treatment of Primary Antibody Deficiencies: Systematic Review and Meta Analysis



Immunoglobulin replacement by the subcutaneous route (SCIg) for the prophylactic treatment of primary or secondary antibody deficient patients has been introduced as an alternative to conventional intravenous administration (IVIg). This is a systematic review of all eligible studies comparing efficacy and safety of IVIg and SCIg. Retrospective and prospective cohort studies and randomized, controlled trials comparing SCIg to IVIg were identified from MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, CSR, ISI and Cochrane Database without restriction on publication date and language. If possible, meta-analysis was performed by using the Review Manager software. A total of 47 articles with 1,484 compared cases were reviewed. Subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement achieved acceptable IgG trough level, low incidence of side effects, efficacy similar to IVIg infusions, better health related quality of life and treatment satisfaction, and faster functional recovery with less time off work. Because of the heterogeneity of the reports, meta-analysis had to be performed by random effect method for IgG trough levels [OR (odds ratio) = 1.00, range = 0.84–1.15; p < 0.01], infection rates (OR = 0.59, range = 0.36–0.97; p = 0.04), and adverse events (OR = 0.09, range = 0.07–0.11; p < 0.001), which showed significant preference of SCIg over IVIg. Based on the analysis of published reports, changing immunoglobulin replacement therapy from IVIg to SCIg may be of benefit to qualified patients with primary immunodeficiency. These advantages, having been demonstrated in numerous studies,make medical, practical and economic sense to consider switching patients with antibody deficiency from IVIg to SCIg.


Immunoglobulin replacement therapy intravenous subcutaneous efficacy 



Subcutaneous immunoglobulin


Intravenous immunoglobulin


Primary antibody deficiency




Intramuscular immunoglobulin


Odds ratio


Hospitalization rate


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hassan Abolhassani
    • 1
  • Mohammad Salehi Sadaghiani
    • 1
  • Asghar Aghamohammadi
    • 1
  • Hans D. Ochs
    • 2
  • Nima Rezaei
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Research Center for Immunodeficiencies, Children’s Medical CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Molecular Immunology Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine and Biomedical SciencesThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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