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Use of intravenous immunoglobulin in an Asian paediatric population over a 10-year period


  • Conflict of interest: No conflict of interest to declare.

Correspondence: Dr Alison Joanne Lee, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Paediatrics, University Children's Medical Institute, National University Hospital, Level 12, NUHS Tower Block, 1E Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119228. Fax: 65 67797486; email:



There is a paucity of data on the pattern of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) usage in the paediatric population. This study aimed to assess the prevalence, trends, indications and burden of cost of IVIG usage in the Singaporean paediatric population.


Pharmacy data of all IVIG prescriptions between 2000 and 2009 in the two major paediatric public hospitals in Singapore were retrospectively reviewed. Each prescription was cross-referenced with the patient's hospital records to confirm the administration of IVIG and indication of use.


Over the 10-year period, a total 78 155 g of IVIG valued at an estimated $5.2 million was prescribed. There was an increasing trend of 445.6 g/year (P = 0.02) over this period. Analysis of patients showed that the most common indication for IVIG use was Kawasaki disease, both in terms of the proportion of patients (60%) and amount of IVIG used (34%). Kawasaki disease was also the only indication where there were significant increasing trends in both patient numbers (7.4 patients/year) and amount of IVIG used (247.5 g/year). The indications with the highest amount of IVIG used per patient were for conditions related to primary immunodeficiency diseases and stem cell transplantation, where repeat transfusions were required. More than 75% of indications were Food and Drug Administration approved.


Albeit substantial and increasing, the use of IVIG in Singaporean children is mostly evidence based.