IVIG (intravenous immune globulin) is an antibody protein derived from human plasma that is collected from healthy blood donors. These complex antibodies in our immune system prevent us from getting sick by responding to and killing bacteria, viruses and other infectious agents.
For more than 50 years, IgG (immune globulin G) replacement therapy has served as a lifesaving treatment in primary antibody deficiency diseases. Now the use of IVIG continues to expand with major increases in use as an “immunomodulalatory” agent (capable of modifying or regulating one or more immune functions) in the treatment of hematologic (i.e. idiopathic thrombo-cytopenic purpura), dermatologic (i.e. autoimmune blistering skin disorders) and has emerged as a powerful therapy for various neuroimmunologic disorders.
Neuroimmunologic diseases can be further categorized as:
Peripheral nerve disorders
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN)
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
Neuromuscular junction disorders
- Myasthenia gravis
- Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome
Central nervous system disorders
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
The exact mechanism of action of IVIG in neuroimmunologic disorders is unknown. Studies investigating the effects of IVIG in various neuroimmunologic disorders have proposed different mechanisms of action, depending on individual disease states. Overall, IVIG has been shown to be as or more effective in comparison with standard treatments and with fewer side effects.