Immunomodulatory and antimicrobial efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin in bone marrow transplantation.
BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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 risk of gram-negative septicemia (relative risk = 2.65, P = 0.0039) and local infection (relative risk = 1.36, P = 0.029) and received 51 more units of platelets than did immunoglobulin recipients. Neither survival nor the risk of relapse was altered by immunoglobulin. However, among patients greater than or equal to 20 years old, there was a reduction in the incidence of acute GVHD (51 percent in controls vs. 34 percent in immunoglobulin recipients; P = 0.0051) and a decrease in deaths due to transplant-related causes after transplantation of HLA-identical marrow (46 percent vs. 30 percent; P = 0.023). CONCLUSIONS: Passive immunotherapy with intravenous immunoglobulin decreases the risk of acute GVHD, associated interstitial pneumonia, and infections after bone marrow transplantation.
Sullivan, KM; Kopecky, KJ; Jocom, J; Fisher, L; Buckner, CD; Meyers, JD; Counts, GW; Bowden, RA; Peterson, FB; Witherspoon, RP
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