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A controlled trial of intravenous immune globulin for the prevention of serious infections in adults with advanced human immunodeficiency virus infection.

Author(s): Kiehl MG, Stoll R, Broder M, Mueller C, Foerster EC, Domschke W

Affiliation(s): Department of Internal Medicine, University of Munster, Germany.

Publication date & source: 1996-12-09, Arch Intern Med., 156(22):2545-50.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Studies on human immunodeficiency virus-infected children suggest that high-dose immune globulin therapy might be beneficial in reducing the episodes of recurrent infections. In adults, comparable studies are not available. OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of intravenous (IV) immune globulin therapy in preventing infections and reducing days with fever, as well as the duration and frequency of hospitalization for human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults, in a prospective, randomized outpatient clinical trial. METHODS: Adult patients who met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria B and C were randomized to be treated with (n = 70) or without (n = 57) IV immune globulin. Patients who were assigned to treatment with IV immune globulin received 400 and 200 mg/kg of this drug initially and every 21 days thereafter, respectively. Primary end points were the occurrence of laboratory-proved or clinically diagnosed infections and death caused by infection. RESULTS: In comparison with patients in the control group, IV immune globulin treatment significantly increased the time for which the patients who met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria B and C were free from serious infection (P < .001). Twelve (17%) of the patients who received IV immune globulin had infection-related deaths compared with 20 (35%) of the control patients; however, this was not statistically significant (P = .06). Furthermore, immune globulin treatment was associated with an overall reduction in the number and duration of hospitalizations for short-term care (P = .002), days with fever (P < .001), and frequency of diarrhea (P < .001). Because of these results, the study was stopped by the local ethical board. CONCLUSION: Prophylactic IV immune globulin treatment in human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults decreases the frequency of serious infections and is associated with a reduction of hospitalization for short-term care.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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