What is the role of IVIg infusion in the treatment of neonatal sepsis?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Nathan S Gollehon, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

The rationale for IVIg infusion is that it could provide type-specific antibodies, thereby improving opsonization and phagocytosis of bacterial organisms and enhancing complement activation and chemotaxis of neonatal neutrophils. It has been studied as a possible therapy for neonatal sepsis, but at present, the data do not support its routine use for this purpose. The main difficulties with IVIg therapy are as follows:

  • The effect has been transient.

  • Clinically available IVIg solutions do not contain type-specific antibody.

  • The adverse effects associated with the infusion of any blood product can occur.

In addition, dose-related problems with IVIg infusion limit its usefulness in neonatal populations. Research has demonstrated no improvement in outcomes for neonates with sepsis who receive IVIg therapy. [61]


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