Intravenous immune globulin

K K Jain MD (Dr. Jain is a consultant in neurology and has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Originally released February 23, 1999; last updated January 25, 2020; expires January 25, 2023

Historical note and terminology

High-dose intravenous immune globulin has been used for the treatment of autoimmune disorders since 1981, starting with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (Imbach et al 1981). Although it has been used extensively in neurology during the past decade, some controversies remain about its use and mechanism of action. Retrospective review of use of intravenous immune globulin from 2003 to 2006 in an Italian academic medical center showed an increase in its use for neurologic disorders, particularly on a long-term basis (Sarti et al 2009).

Intravenous immune globulin is a purified polyvalent preparation from multiple donor plasma containing all antibodies in a concentrated form with a proportion of IgG of more than 95%. Gamunex®, 10% caprylate-chromatography purified IVIG, is an FDA-approved product.

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