3 years ago

Timing of infections in patients with primary immunodeficiencies treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg)

Parwinder K. Gill, Stephen D. Betschel



Patients with common variable immune deficiency and X-linked agammaglobulinemia are unable to produce their own antibodies thus leading to a higher incidence of recurrent infections, particularly those involving the sinuses and lungs. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy aims to reduce the incidence of infections; however, as serum IgG approaches its trough during the third and fourth week after infusion, we hypothesized that the rate of infection would be higher during this time period.


Patients with a diagnosis of either common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) or X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) were analyzed in a prospective cohort study. Data was obtained as to the timing of symptom onset post infusion, the type of infection, as well as timing of the initiation of antibiotics. Descriptive analyses were conducted to explore the patterns of the data at each month and then over the course of the study year.


Twenty-three patients with a diagnosis of either CVID (n = 22), or XLA (n = 1) were enrolled with a mean follow duration of 11.3 months. The mean number of days to infection after IVIg infusion, the primary endpoint, was 17.0 days with the most common infections reported as sinusitis and upper respiratory tract infections. There was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.70) in the rates of infection when considering the weeks post-infusion.


We believe that this pilot study is the first reported prospective study to examine the timing of infections after IVIg infusion in individuals with CVID and XLA. Further multi-centered research with a larger sample size is required into the comparison of infection rates in primary immunodeficiency patients treated with IVIg versus subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy, where serum IgG levels remain at steady state.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13223-018-0247-8

DOI: 10.1186/s13223-018-0247-8

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