Immunomodulatory and antimicrobial efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin in bone marrow transplantation

The New England Journal of Medicine
K M SullivanR P Witherspoon


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and infection are major complications of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Since intravenous immunoglobulin has shown benefit in several immunodeficiency and autoimmune disorders, we studied its antimicrobial and immunomodulatory role after marrow transplantation. In a randomized trial of 382 patients, transplant recipients given immunoglobulin (500 mg per kilogram of body weight weekly to day 90, then monthly to day 360 after transplantation) were compared with controls not given immunoglobulin. By chance, the immunoglobulin group included more patients with advanced-stage neoplasms; otherwise, the study groups were balanced for prognostic factors. Control patients seronegative for cytomegalovirus who received seronegative blood products remained seronegative, but seronegative patients who received immunoglobulin and screened blood had a passive transfer of cytomegalovirus antibody (median titer, 1:64). Among the 61 seronegative patients who could be evaluated, none contracted interstitial pneumonia; among the 308 seropositive patients evaluated, 22 percent of control patients and 13 percent of immunoglobulin recipients had this complication (P = 0.021). Control patients had an increased ...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Cytomegalovirus Infections
Graft-vs-Host Disease
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Malignant Neoplasms
Postoperative Complications
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Infectious Disease Prevention/Control

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