Intravenous immunoglobulin effectively treated patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus and concomitant infection, as well as hematological and cardiac involvement, according to study results.
Researchers retrospectively studied 52 patients (mean age, 33.2 years; 45 women) with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) from January 2001 to February 2011 in a London hospital who received at least one cycle of 400 mg/k intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) daily for 5 days. Twenty-seven patients received IVIG for active disease and concomitant infection, and 26 patients had IVIG for refractory or resistant SLE to standard therapy.
“The indications for IVIG in the SLE patients were mainly cutaneous, hematological, neuropsychiatric and heart involvements,” the researchers wrote.
Nine patients with active disease and concomitant infections experienced complete remission after treatment and eight had partial remission, including two who relapsed, one at 10 years and the other at 2 months. Eight patients experienced no response.
Six patients in the refractory to standard therapy cohort experienced complete remission, 12 had partial remission and eight had no response. Relapse was experienced by seven patients (mean time, 8.9 months).
“In a long-term study in the largest published cohort of SLE patients, IVIG was found to be effective in selected manifestations, such as hematological or cardiac involvement or when other therapeutic approaches are not available, such as in patients with active disease and concomitant infection,” the researchers concluded.
“IVIG does not seem an effective therapeutic tool for aggressive cutaneous lupus patients, considering the short-term improvement, costs and limited availability of this treatment, especially now that new biologic agents can represent an alternative strategy.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.