Should Intravenous Immunoglobulin G (IVIg) be used in the treatment of COVID-19?
There is conflicting evidence on the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobin G in the treatment of COVID-19
patients with severe disease.
- Intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIg) is a mixture of polyclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG3, IgG4) antibodies as well as variable amounts of proteins; IgA, IgE and IgM antibodies isolated and pooled from healthy donors. IgG is involved in viral neutralization, modulates anti-inflammatory cytokines and cytokine antagonists.
- Immediate adverse effects of IVIg include flu-like syndrome, dermatologic side effects, arrhythmia, hypotension, and transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). Delayed adverse effects can involve any organ which could be severe or even lethal
- There was a retrospective study (Yun Xie 2020) and several case reports that described recovery of COVID positive patients with severe disease. However, a retrospective study showed that immunoglobulin G with steroids and antivirals did not improve COVID patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (Liu Y 2020). Similarly, another study showed no significant difference in the 28- and 60-day mortality between the IVIg and non-IVIg groups but subgroup analyses reported that in those with critical COVID illness, 28 day mortality is decreased with IVIg (Shao Z).
- There are eight registered clinical trials on the use of intravenous immunoglobulin G in COVID-19 patients.