Intravenous immunoglobulin

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Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a proposed treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Theory[edit | edit source]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

There has been inconsistent evidence for the use of IVIG in the treatment of ME or CFS. This may be due to the heterogeneity of triggers and immune system involvement in the ME/CFS population.

The American Journal of Medicine published two studies with different conclusions following each other in the November 1990 issue. The two studies were done in different countries and neither report the case definitions used to identify patients. The study with positive results used a dose twice that as the study with negative results. Following are the abstracts.

Positive results[edit | edit source]

  • 1990, A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Done by the Department of Infectious Diseases, Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, Australia. This study found that a low CD4 count at baseline before IVIG treatment commenced was a predictor of which ME/CFS patients would do well on IVIG.[1]

Negative results[edit | edit source]

  • 1990, A controlled trial of intravenous immunoglobulin G in chronic fatigue syndrome. Done by the Department of Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2]

Other Positive Studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2008, Tae Park, MD, presented his study about IVIG for ME/CFS patients at the 3rd Invest in ME International ME Conference. He checked the Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in 125 ME/CFS patients who met the Fukuda criteria by measuring s-creatinine clearance with cockcroft-auld formula. "We found there were significant renal blood flow improvements in 60 patients (50%) with IVIG treatment...the improvement of renal blood flow is between 35% and 60% of previous GFR. These findings of improved renal blood flow may be evidence of improved cerebral blood flow...[and] may explain the improvement of cognitive function and other symptoms of ME/CFS patients with IVIG treatments."[3]
  • 2003, Successful Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy in 3 Cases of Parvovirus B19-Associated Chronic Fatigue Syndrome[4]
  • 1999, Five-Year Follow-Up of Young People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Following the Double Blind Randomised Controlled Intravenous Gammaglobulin Trial[5]
  • 1997, Double-blind randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of intravenous gammaglobulin for the management of chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents[6]
  • 1992, Immunological and psychological dysfunction in patients receiving immunotherapy for chronic fatigue syndrome[7]

Clinicians[edit | edit source]

Dr. Irving Spurr of the UK, "uses immunogloulin treatment extensively and has not done a RCT [randomized controlled trial] because he does not believe it is ethical to not offer it to clients. There are apparently problems with the use of IVIG in the UK and so he used IM."[3]

Dr. John Chia of the US, uses IVIG in patients with both hypogammaglobulinemia and CFS.[8]

Risks & safety[edit | edit source]

The risks of IGIV administration must be carefully weighed against potential benefits.

From 1-15% of people receiving IVIG infusions report mild self-limited symptoms, including: fever, chills, headache, myalgia, nausea and/or vomiting, low back pain, increased heart rate, blood pressure changes, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Onset of symptoms range from 30 minutes to several days post-infusion. The cause is thought to be from pathogen die-off and/or a mild allergic reaction. As with any blood product, severe and even fatal anaphylactoid reactions may occur. When using IVIG, the risk is in patients with anti-IgA antibodies of the IgG and IgE isotypes in the patient's serum, though this condition is extremely rare.[9][10]

Reports of renal failure associated with IVIG occur in less than 1% of cases. Caution is urged for those patients with pre-existing renal insufficiency.[11]

One case study recorded a paradoxical effect where IVIG administration increased the replication of Parvovirus B19, a pathogen associated with CFS.[12]

Costs & availability[edit | edit source]

IVIG for ME/CFS is considered an off-use or non-FDA approved treatment. As a result, few physicians prescribe it and insurance companies will not cover it, unless a co-morbid condition that merits IVIG exists. The estimated out of pocket cost in the U.S. for a four dose course of IVIG for a 70 kg/155 lb person at 2 g/kg could cost $25,000-$26,000.[13]

List of studies[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lloyd, A.; Hickie, I.; Wakefield, D.; Boughton, C.; Dwyer, J. (November 1990), "A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome", The American Journal of Medicine, 89 (5): 561–568, ISSN 0002-9343, PMID 2146875 
  2. Peterson, P. K.; Shepard, J.; Macres, M.; Schenck, C.; Crosson, J.; Rechtman, D.; Lurie, N. (November 1990), "A controlled trial of intravenous immunoglobulin G in chronic fatigue syndrome", The American Journal of Medicine, 89 (5): 554–560, ISSN 0002-9343, PMID 2239975 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3rd Invest in ME International ME Conference 2008 – Report
  4. Kerr, J. R.; Cunniffe1, V. S.; Kelleher, P.; Bernstein, R. M.; Bruce, I. N. (2003), "Successful Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy in 3 Cases of Parvovirus B19-Associated Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Clinical Infectious Diseases, 36 (9): 100-106, doi:10.1086/374666 
  5. Rowe, K.S. (1999), "Five-Year Follow-Up of Young People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Following the Double Blind Randomised Controlled Intravenous Gammaglobulin Trial", Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 5 (3-4): 97-107, doi:10.1300/J092v05n03_08 
  6. Rowe, K.S. (1997), "Double-blind randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of intravenous gammaglobulin for the management of chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents.", Journal of Psychiatric Research, 31 (1): 133-47, PMID 9201655 
  7. Hickie, I.; Lloyd, A.; Wakefield, D. (June 1992), "Immunological and psychological dysfunction in patients receiving immunotherapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.", The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 26 (2): 249-56, PMID 1642616 
  8. Stanford ME/CFS Initiative – Enteroviruses Treatment Options – Physician Perspective: John Chia, MD
  9. Duhem, C; Dicato, M A; Ries, F (July 1994), "Side-effects of intravenous immune globulins.", Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 97 (Suppl 1): 79–83, ISSN 0009-9104, PMID 8033440, retrieved 2016-12-12 
  10. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology – Work Group Report on the appropriate use of intravenously administered immunoglobulin (IGIV) (pdf)
  11. Ahsan, N. (June 1998), "Intravenous immunoglobulin induced-nephropathy: a complication of IVIG therapy", Journal of Nephrology, 11 (3): 157–161, ISSN 1121-8428, PMID 9650125 
  12. Attard, Luciano; Bonvicini, Francesca; Gelsomino, Francesco; Manfredi, Roberto; Cascavilla, Alessandra; Viale, Pierluigi; Varani, Stefania; Gallinella, Giorgio (2015-01-01), "Paradoxical response to intravenous immunoglobulin in a case of Parvovirus B19-associated chronic fatigue syndrome", Journal of Clinical Virology, 62: 54–57, doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2014.11.021, ISSN 1386-6532, PMID 25542471, retrieved 2016-12-12 
  13. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/523523_5


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From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history