Changing Trends in IVIG Use in Pediatric Patients: A Retrospective Review of Practices in a Network of Major USA Pediatric Hospitals

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71821833 (Orcid); 2-s2.0-85071613688 (eid)


The use of immunoglobulins is gradually increasing. Intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) are used as replacement therapy for primary and secondary immune deficiencies, and as an anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory medication for the treatment of neurologic, dermatologic, and rheumatologic diseases. The objective of this study was to analyze trends in the IVIG use in pediatric patients hospitalized to 47 US-based children's hospitals from 2007 to 2014. IVIG was used for the treatment of >2300 primary diagnoses in 53,648 unique patients. The number of IVIG admissions increased by 30.2% during the study period, while the mean rate of IVIG admissions/100,000 admissions increased only 5.8%. Most patients receiving IVIG were children and adolescents. IVIG was frequently used off-label or for the treatment of FDA-approved indications in children under two years of age and BMT patients <20 years of age. Primary immune deficiencies represented only 1.2% of all IVIG admissions. Pediatric patients with mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome (Kawasaki disease, KD) and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) were two primary consumers of the IVIG. Another top-ranked indications were acute infectious polyneuritis (Guillain-Barré syndrome, GBS) and prophylaxis of infections in patients receiving antineoplastic chemotherapy. IVIG usage is a dynamic process guided by emerging evidence and FDA approval for new indications. IVIG was mostly prescribed for treatment of diseases with pathologic immune responses to foreign of self-antigens. These indications usually, require higher amounts of IVIG per admission. More studies are needed to understand whether IVIG treatments of off-label indications are effective and cost-efficient.



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