Is IVIG an effective adjunctive treatment for Clostridium difficile (C diff) colitis?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Faten N Aberra, MD, MSCE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), which contains C difficile antitoxin, has been reported as an effective adjunctive treatment for refractory and severe cases of C difficile colitis/diarrhea. In some individuals, a poor host immune response to C difficile may be a risk factor for the lack of clearance of C difficile and may be the reason for the benefit of IVIG.

A review of the literature and a retrospective review of 21 of 1230 patients with CDI who received IVIG showed that conventional treatments were used for an average of 8 days before IVIG was administered. [76] All of the patients reviewed had radiologic pancolitis or clinical ileus. Following treatment with IVIG, 9 (43%) of the patients survived with resolution of their colitis, whereas 12 (57%) of the patients died. Patients who survived showed resolution of their symptoms after an average of 10 days (range, 2-20 d). [76]


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