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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • children;
  • immunoglobulin;
  • IVIG

Objective

In order to study the effect of high-dose, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in severe childhood asthma, we investigated 31 children and adolescents (15 girls, 16 boys) aged 9–22 years (median age of 14 years) suffering from severe bronchial asthma.

Methods

In a prospective, double-blind fashion, patients received either four doses of IVIG (1 g/kg body weight) or identical doses of intravenous human serum albumin. The first two doses were given on two consecutive days, followed by two further doses at 4 week intervals.

Results

There was no statistical difference in the actively treated group when compared with the placebo group in symptom-score, bronchial hyperreactivity or peak-flow-variability. There was a trend for fewer total days of upper respiratory tract infections and also symptom-scores in the IVIG group but these did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion

Our data indicate that treatment with IVIG in asthmatic children did not show a significant reduction in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections, but the patients who did have upper respiratory infections in the IVIG-group appear to have less protracted infections. Severity and bronchial hyperreactivity do not seem to be affected by the treatment as performed in our study.