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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin

There are few reports of the use of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (hdIVIg) in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD). We describe our experience using this therapy in three patients with severe AD, all of whom had steroid-related side-effects. These patients received either Alphaglobin® or Sandoglobulin® 2 g/kg monthly: all had improved skin scores, allowing reduction of their steroid dose. Total IgE fell in one of three patients. We discuss the side-effects of hdIVIg and their management, and detail the differences between the available immunoglobulin products available in the U.K. There are several proposed mechanisms of action of this therapy which may be operative, and those most important in AD are discussed. In view of the time and expense involved in the treatment of patients with hdIVIg, careful patient assessment is vital. We describe dose reduction strategies and methods for cost containment. In addition, one of the patients has embarked on IVIg home therapy training. This will be the first time this has been attempted for a dermatological indication. Training of this type may be available through an immunotherapy service such as exists for patients with primary immunodeficiencies.