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1.  Economic benefits of subcutaneous rapid push versus intravenous immunoglobulin infusion therapy in adult patients with primary immune deficiency 
SUMMARY
Objective
The objective of this study is to evaluate the economic benefits of immunoglobulin replacement therapy achieved subcutaneously (subcutaneous immunoglobulin, SCIG) by the rapid push method compared to intravenous infusion therapy (intravenous immunoglobulin, IVIG) in primary immune deficiency (PID) patients from the healthcare system perspective in the context of the adult SCIG home infusion program based at St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, Canada.
Materials and methods
SCIG and IVIG options were compared in cost-minimisation and budget impact models (BIMs) over 3 years. Sensitivity analyses were performed for both models to evaluate the impact of varying modality of IVIG treatments and proportion of patients switching from IVIG to SCIG.
Results
The cost-minimisation model estimated that SCIG treatment reduced cost to the healthcare system per patient of $5736 over 3 years, principally because of less use of hospital personnel. This figure varied between $5035 and $8739 depending on modality of IVIG therapy. Assuming 50% of patients receiving IVIG switched to SCIG, the BIM estimated cost savings for the first 3 years at $1·308 million or 37% of the personnel and supply budget. These figures varied between $1·148 million and $2·454 million (36 and 42%) with varying modalities of IVIG therapy. If 75% of patients switched to SCIG, the reduced costs reached $1·962 million or 56% of total budget.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated that from the health system perspective, rapid push home-based SCIG was less costly than hospital-based IVIG for immunoglobulin replacement therapy in adult PID patients in the Canadian context.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-3148.2012.01201.x
PMCID: PMC3580879  PMID: 23167310
budget impact model; cost minimisation; IVIG; primary immune deficiencies; SCIG
2.  Calculating the Dose of Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin for Primary Immunodeficiency Disease in Patients Switched From Intravenous to Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Without the Use of a Dose-Adjustment Coefficient 
Pharmacy and Therapeutics  2013;38(12):768-770.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a standard therapy for immune deficiency disorders, is not appropriate for all patients. As a result, a subcutaneous form (SCIG) has emerged as an alternative. The authors propose a tailored dosing approach for SCIG.
Primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) is an inherited disorder characterized by an inadequate immune system. The most common type of PIDD is antibody deficiency. Patients with this disorder lack the ability to make functional immunoglobulin G (IgG) and require lifelong IgG replacement therapy to prevent serious bacterial infections.
The current standard therapy for PIDD is intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusions, but IVIG might not be appropriate for all patients. For this reason, subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) has emerged as an alternative to IVIG. A concern for physicians is the precise SCIG dose that should be prescribed, because there are pharmacokinetic differences between IVIG and SCIG. Manufacturers of SCIG 10% and 20% liquid (immune globulin subcutaneous [human]) recommend a dose-adjustment coefficient (DAC). Both strengths are currently approved by the FDA. This DAC is to be used when patients are switched from IVIG to SCIG.
In this article, we propose another dosing method that uses a higher ratio of IVIG to SCIG and an incremental adjustment based on clinical status, body weight, and the presence of concurrent diseases.
PMCID: PMC3875267  PMID: 24391400
3.  Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin-G Replacement Therapy with Preparations Currently Available in the United States for Intravenous or Intramuscular Use: Reasons and Regimens 
For patients who require replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency, subcutaneous infusions of immunoglobulin G (IgG) may be preferable to intravenous infusions for several reasons. However, at present, there is no preparation marketed for use by this route in North America. In this article, we describe the reasons patients have selected this route of therapy and the range of treatment regimens used. Approximately 20% of our patients have chosen the subcutaneous route, mainly because of adverse effects from intravenous (IV) infusions or difficulties with venous access. Unit dose regimens using whole bottles of currently available 16% intramuscular preparations or sucrose-containing lyophilized preparations intended for IV use but reconstituted to 15% IgG for subcutaneous administration were individually tailored to each patient. In most cases, self-infusions or home infusions were administered once or twice a week, most commonly requiring two subcutaneous sites and 2 to 3 hours per infusion. On average, patients took 0.18 mL of IgG per kilogram of body weight per site per hour. There were no systemic adverse effects. In patients for whom comparative data were available, trough serum IgG levels were higher with subcutaneous therapy than with IV therapy.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-1-3-120
PMCID: PMC2877065  PMID: 20529223
4.  Implications to payers of switch from hospital-based intravenous immunoglobulin to home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies in Canada 
Background
Switching primary/secondary immunodeficiency (PID/SID) patients from intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) to home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) therapy reduces nurse time. A nurse shortage in Canada provides an important context to estimate the net economic benefit, the number of patients needed to switch to SCIg to recoup one full-time equivalent (FTE), and potential population-wide savings of reduced nurse time to a payer.
Methods
The net economic benefit was estimated by multiplying the hourly compensation for nurses in Canada by the hours required for each administration route. The number needed to switch to SCIg to gain one nurse FTE was estimated by dividing the work hours in a year by the average annual savings in nursing time in a PID population in Canada. The prevalence of treated PID/SID in Canada was calculated using provincial IgG audit data to extrapolate the potential population-wide savings of switching patients to SCIg therapy.
Findings
The net economic gain from switching one patient to home-based SCIg care would be C$2,603 (Canadian Dollars) in year 1 and C$2,948 each year thereafter. Switching 37 IVIg patients to SCIg would gain one nurse FTE. Switching 50% of the estimated 5,486 PID and SID patients in Canada receiving IVIg therapy to SCIg has the potential to save 223.3 nurse FTEs (C$23.2 million in labor costs).
Conclusions
A shift from IVIg to less labor-intensive SCIg has the potential to help alleviate nurse shortages and reduce overall health care costs in Canada. Health care professionals might consider advocating for home-based SCIg therapy for PID/SID patients when clinically appropriate.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-23
PMCID: PMC4036390  PMID: 24872821
IVIg; SCIg; Labor costs; Full time equivalents; FTEs; PID; SID; Nurse time
5.  Subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy in the treatment of patients with primary immunodeficiency disease 
Antibody deficiency is the most frequently encountered primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) and patients who lack the ability to make functional immunoglobulin require life-long replacement therapy to prevent serious bacterial infections. Human serum immunoglobulin manufactured from pools of donated plasma can be administered intramuscularly, intravenously or subcutaneously. With the advent of well-tolerated preparations of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in the 1980s, the suboptimal painful intramuscular route of administration is no longer used. However, some patients continued to experience unacceptable adverse reactions to the intravenous preparations, and for others, vascular access remained problematic. Subcutaneously administered immunoglobulin (SCIg) provided an alternative delivery method to patients experiencing difficulties with IVIg. By 2006, immunoglobulin preparations designed exclusively for subcutaneous administration became available. They are therapeutically equivalent to intravenous preparations and offer patients the additional flexibility for the self-administration of their product at home. SCIg as replacement therapy for patients with primary antibody deficiencies is a safe and efficacious method to prevent serious bacterial infections, while maximizing patient satisfaction and improving quality of life.
PMCID: PMC2817783  PMID: 20169031
subcutaneous immunoglobulin; primary immunodeficiency disease; antibody deficiency; X-linked agammaglobulinemia; common variable immune deficiency
6.  Home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin G replacement therapy under real-life conditions in children and adults with antibody deficiency 
Background
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) therapy is an alternative to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy.
Methods
We evaluated the efficacy and safety of the SCIG Vivaglobin® (formerly known as Beriglobin® SC) under real-life conditions in a post-marketing observational study in 82 patients with primary or secondary antibody deficiencies. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was evaluated in a subset of 30 patients previously treated with IVIG (including 11 children < 14 years) using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) for patients ≥ 14 years of age (adults) and the Child Health Questionnaire - Parental Form 50 (CHQ-PF50) for children < 14 years of age. Treatment preferences were assessed in adults.
Results
The mean serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) trough level during SCIG treatment (7.5 g/L) was higher than during previous IVIG treatment (6.6 g/L; p < 0.01). The investigators assessed the efficacy of SCIG therapy as "excellent" in 89% of patients. No systemic adverse drug reactions were observed. Improvements by ≥ 5 points were observed in 5 of 8 SF36 subscales and in 6 of 12 CHQ-PF50 subscales. Statistically significant improvements (p ≤ 0.05) were observed for the SF-36 subscales of bodily pain, general health perceptions, and vitality (adults), and for the CHQ-PF50 subscales of general health perceptions, parental impact - time, parental impact - emotional, and family activities (children). Patients preferred SCIG over IVIG therapy (92%) and home therapy over therapy at the clinic/physician (83%).
Conclusion
This study confirms that therapy with Vivaglobin® at home is effective, safe, well tolerated, and improves quality of life in patients with antibody deficiency.
doi:10.1186/2047-783X-15-6-238
PMCID: PMC3351992  PMID: 20696632
antibody deficiency; subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy; quality of life; children; adults
7.  Immune Globulin Subcutaneous (Human) 20% 
Drugs  2012;72(8):1087-1097.
Immune globulin subcutaneous 20% is a new high-concentration (200 g/L) solution of highly purified human IgG (≥98%) indicated in the EU and the US for antibody replacement therapy in patients with primary immunodeficiency with antibody deficiency, and in the EU for replacement therapy in humoral immunodeficiency secondary to myeloma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Immune globulin subcutaneous 20% is formulated with L-proline, which imparts long-term stability at room temperature and a relatively low viscosity.
In two pivotal phase III trials in stably treated patients with primary immunodeficiency, immune globulin subcutaneous 20% at weekly subcutaneous dosages either equivalent to each patient’s previous intravenous or subcutaneous replacement therapy, or providing equivalent systemic exposure to previous intravenous therapy, produced mean serum IgG trough levels equal to or greater than pre-study levels. In each trial, there were no serious bacterial infections during treatment throughout the 28-week or 12-month efficacy periods. The rates of infectious episodes, days missed from work/school, days hospitalized or days with antibiotics were low.
Immune globulin subcutaneous 20% was generally well tolerated. A high proportion of patients experienced local infusion-site reactions, but infusion-related systemic adverse events were relatively infrequent. Most adverse events were of mild or moderate intensity and did not interfere with therapy.
doi:10.2165/11209490-000000000-00000
PMCID: PMC3582812  PMID: 22621695
8.  Subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy: a new option for patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases 
Since the 1950s, replacement of immunoglobulin G using human immunoglobulin has been the standard treatment for primary immunodeficiency diseases with defects in antibody production. These patients suffer from recurrent and severe infections, which cause lung damage and shorten their life span. Immunoglobulins given intravenously (IVIG) every 3–4 weeks are effective in preventing serious bacterial infections and improving the quality of life for treated patients. Administration of immunoglobulin subcutaneously (SCIG) is equally effective in preventing infections and has a lower incidence of serious adverse effects compared to IVIG. The tolerability and acceptability of SCIG has been demonstrated in numerous studies showing improvements in quality of life and a preference for subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with antibody deficiencies.
doi:10.2147/BTT.S25188
PMCID: PMC3430092  PMID: 22956859
primary immunodeficiency diseases; subcutaneous immunoglobulin; immunoglobulin G
9.  Immunoglobulin replacement treatment by rapid subcutaneous infusion 
Long term intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusion is an effective treatment for children with immunodeficiencies, but can be complicated by poor venous access, systemic adverse reactions, and the need for frequent hospital admission. Rapid subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) infusion has been found to be effective in adults with primary immunodeficiency. Twenty six children were treated with SCIG for a median period of two years (range six months to 3.5 years). Fifteen children had previously been treated with IVIG. Retrospective analysis showed that trough IgG concentrations while receiving SCIG were comparable with those while receiving IVIG during maintenance treatment. In severe hypogammaglobulinaemia, however, initial loading with SCIG or IVIG is probably indicated. During the treatment period there was no systemic adverse reaction nor severe reaction requiring admission to hospital. The subjective impression of all families was a significant improvement in the quality of life. This preliminary experience with SCIG in children suggests that it is an effective, convenient, and well tolerated alternative to intravenous treatment. Larger prospective studies are required to determine the place of SCIG in the management of immunodeficiencies.


PMCID: PMC1717614  PMID: 9771252
10.  Intravenous immunoglobulins improve the function and ameliorate joint involvement in systemic sclerosis: a pilot study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(7):977-979.
Background
In systemic sclerosis (SSc), joint involvement may reduce the functional capacity of the hands. Intravenous immunoglobulins have previously been shown to benefit patients with SSc.
Aim
To verify the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulins on joint involvement and function in SSc.
Patients and methods
7 women with SSc, 5 with limited and 2 with diffuse SSc, with a severe and refractory joint involvement were enrolled in the study. Methotrexate and cyclophosphamide pulse therapy did not ameliorate joint symptoms. Hence, intravenous immunoglobulins therapy was prescribed at a dosage of 2 g/kg body weight during 4 days/month for six consecutive courses. The presence of joint tenderness and swelling, and articular deformities (due to primary joint involvement and not due to skin and subcutaneous changes) were evaluated. Before and after 6 months of treatment, patients were subjected to (1) Ritchie Index (RI) evaluation of joint involvement; (2) Dreiser Algo‐Functional Index (IAFD) evaluation of hand joint function; (3) pain visual analogue scale (VAS) to measure joint pain; (4) Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) to evaluate the limitations in everyday living and physical disability; and (5) modified Rodnan Skin Score for skin involvement.
Results
After 6 months of intravenous immunoglobulins therapy, joint pain and tenderness, measured with the VAS, decreased significantly (p<0.03), and hand function (IAFD) improved significantly (p<0.02), together with the quality of life (HAQ; p<0.03). All patients significantly improved, except for one. The skin score after 6 months of intravenous immunoglobulins therapy was significantly reduced (p<0.003).
Conclusion
This pilot study suggests that intravenous immunoglobulins may reduce joint pain and tenderness, with a significant recovery of joint function in patients with SSc with severe and refractory joint involvement. The cost of intravenous immunoglobulins might limit their use only to patients who failed disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs.
doi:10.1136/ard.2006.060111
PMCID: PMC1955090  PMID: 17344244
11.  New Frontiers in Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment 
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) treatment provides stable serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels, is associated with fewer systemic adverse events than intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment, and offers the convenience of home therapy. In clinical practice, IVIG is still used preferentially for initiation of treatment in newly diagnosed patients with primary immunodeficiency (PI) and for immunomodulatory therapy, such as treatment of peripheral neuropathies, when high doses are believed to be necessary. The authors discuss recent experience in using SCIG in place of IVIG in these settings. SCIG has been successfully used for initiation of therapy in previously untreated PI patients. Seventeen of 18 PI patients achieved serum IgG levels ≥5 g/L after the loading phase. Daily treatment was well tolerated and provided opportunities for patient/parent training in self-infusion. SCIG has been used for maintenance therapy in multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) in three recent clinical trials, with good efficacy and tolerability results. Seven of eight MMN patients maintained serum IgG levels of 14–22 g/L with a mean dose of 272 mg/kg/week, had stable muscle strength, and felt comfortable with self-administration. Four patients with polymyositis or dermatomyositis achieved improvement in serum creatine kinase levels and muscle strength with SCIG therapy. Recent experience with SCIG suggests that traditional concepts of immunoglobulin therapy may be challenged to increase available therapy options. SCIG can be used to achieve high IgG levels within several days in untreated PI patients and to maintain high serum levels, as shown in patients with MMN.
doi:10.1007/s13554-011-0009-3
PMCID: PMC3873072  PMID: 24392293
immunoglobulin G; immunoglobulin therapy; multifocal motor neuropathy; primary immunodeficiencies; serum levels; subcutaneous administration
12.  Efficacy and Safety of IgPro20, a Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin, in Japanese Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases 
Purpose
Intravenous (IVIG) and subcutaneous (SCIG) immunoglobulin infusions are widely used for the treatment of patients with primary immunodeficiency (PID) worldwide. This prospective, multicenter, open-label, single-arm Phase III study evaluated the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of IgPro20 (Hizentra®; L-proline–stabilized 20 % human SCIG) in adult and pediatric Japanese patients with PID.
Methods
Patients received three IVIG infusions at 3–4-week intervals followed by a dose-equivalent switch to weekly SCIG infusions. A 12-week wash-in/wash-out period was followed by a 12-week SCIG efficacy period. The primary efficacy endpoint was the comparison of total serum IgG trough levels during the IVIG and SCIG efficacy periods by calculating the geometric mean ratio (GMR).
Results
The GMR of IgG trough levels on SCIG versus IVIG was 1.09 (2-sided 90 % confidence interval: 1.06–1.13). No serious bacterial infections were reported. Eleven patients (52.4 %) had infectious episodes with an overall rate of 2.98 infections/patient/year; 7 patients (33.3 %) missed school/work/daycare due to infection (3.48 days/patient/year). Sixteen patients (76.2 %) were treated with antibiotics for an adverse event (AE; 47.6 %) or prophylaxis (23.8 %), resulting in 167.42 days/patient/year of antibiotic use. During SCIG treatment, 24 patients (96.0 %) had 269 AEs (0.461 AEs per/infusion) including local reactions as the most common AE (20 patients, 80.0 %). Local tolerability of IgPro20 was assessed as “very good” or “good” after 85.4 % of SCIG infusions. One patient (4.0 %) experienced a serious AE of moderate severity (bacterial infection) that was considered unrelated to study medication.
Conclusion
IgPro20 was effective and well tolerated in Japanese patients with PID.
doi:10.1007/s10875-013-9985-z
PMCID: PMC3937544  PMID: 24504846
Primary immunodeficiency; PID; primary antibody deficiency; SCIG; Hizentra®; IgPro20; Japan
13.  Efficacy and Safety of a New 20% Immunoglobulin Preparation for Subcutaneous Administration, IgPro20, in Patients With Primary Immunodeficiency 
Journal of Clinical Immunology  2010;30(5):734-745.
Subcutaneous human IgG (SCIG) therapy in primary immunodeficiency (PID) offers sustained IgG levels throughout the dosing cycle and fewer adverse events (AEs) compared to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). A phase I study showed good local tolerability of IgPro20, a new 20% liquid SCIG stabilized with L-proline. A prospective, open-label, multicenter, single-arm, phase III study evaluated the efficacy and safety of IgPro20 in patients with PID over 15 months. Forty-nine patients (5–72 years) previously treated with IVIG received weekly subcutaneous infusions of IgPro20. The mean serum IgG level was 12.5 g/L. No serious bacterial infections were reported. There were 96 nonserious infections (rate 2.76/patient per year). The rate of days missed from work/school was 2.06/patient per year, and the rate of hospitalization was 0.2/patient per year. Ninety-nine percent of AEs were mild or moderate. No serious, IgPro20-related AEs were reported. IgPro20 effectively protected patients with PID against infections and maintained serum IgG levels without causing unexpected AEs.
doi:10.1007/s10875-010-9423-4
PMCID: PMC2935975  PMID: 20454851
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG); primary immunodeficiency; local tolerability; serum IgG trough levels; L-proline; home infusion therapy
14.  Evaluation of correlation between dose and clinical outcomes in subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy 
Summary
The importance of serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G concentration in IgG replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency diseases is established in certain settings. Generally, IgG is infused via the intravenous (IVIG) or subcutaneous (SCIG) route. For IVIG infusion, published data demonstrate that higher IgG doses and trough levels provide patients with improved protection from infection. The same conclusions are not yet accepted for SCIG; data from two recent Phase III studies and a recent post-hoc analysis, however, suggest the same correlation between higher SCIG dose and serum IgG concentration and decreased incidence of infection seen with IVIG. Other measures of clinical efficacy have not been considered similarly. Thus, combined analyses of these and other published SCIG studies were performed; a full comparison of the 13 studies was, however, limited by non-standardized definitions and reporting. Despite these limitations, our analyses indicate that certain clinical outcomes improve at higher SCIG doses and associated higher serum IgG concentrations, and suggest that there might be opportunity to improve patient outcomes via SCIG dose adjustment.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2012.04594.x
PMCID: PMC3406377  PMID: 22774992
dose; IgG replacement therapy; immunoglobulin; primary immunodeficiency; subcutaneous
15.  Evaluation of correlation between dose and clinical outcomes in subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy 
The importance of serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G concentration in IgG replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency diseases is established in certain settings. Generally, IgG is infused via the intravenous (IVIG) or subcutaneous (SCIG) route. For IVIG infusion, published data demonstrate that higher IgG doses and trough levels provide patients with improved protection from infection. The same conclusions are not yet accepted for SCIG; data from two recent Phase III studies and a recent post-hoc analysis, however, suggest the same correlation between higher SCIG dose and serum IgG concentration and decreased incidence of infection seen with IVIG. Other measures of clinical efficacy have not been considered similarly. Thus, combined analyses of these and other published SCIG studies were performed; a full comparison of the 13 studies was, however, limited by non-standardized definitions and reporting. Despite these limitations, our analyses indicate that certain clinical outcomes improve at higher SCIG doses and associated higher serum IgG concentrations, and suggest that there might be opportunity to improve patient outcomes via SCIG dose adjustment.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2012.04594.x
PMCID: PMC3406377  PMID: 22774992
dose; IgG replacement therapy; immunoglobulin; primary immunodeficiency; subcutaneous
16.  Common infusion-related reactions to subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy: Managing patient expectations 
Objective
The availability of weekly subcutaneous infusions of subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) provides an additional therapeutic option for patients with primary immunodeficiency disease. With proper patient education, individuals can safely transition to SCIg therapy and experience minimal side effects.
Research design
Case reports.
Results
A plan for successful implementation of SCIg therapy is presented. Case reports illustrate the how to manage the transition from IVIg to home infusion of SCIg. In Case 1, despite training, home infusion was complicated by infusion-site reactions, the most common adverse event. Troubleshooting by the medical staff identified improper administration of SCIg, a correctable cause of reactions. In Case 2, patient education enabled this woman to successfully transition to SCIg without adverse effects, and without the headache and fatigue she experienced with IVIg.
Conclusions
Home infusion of SCIg can be successfully implemented with careful planning, patient/caregiver education, support, and follow-up.
PMCID: PMC2770380  PMID: 19920958
immunodeficiency; primary; IgG deficiency; therapy; immunoglobulins; IV; subcutaneous; adverse effects
17.  Antibody levels to tetanus, diphtheria, measles and varicella in patients with primary immunodeficiency undergoing intravenous immunoglobulin therapy: a prospective study 
BMC Immunology  2014;15:26.
Background
Patients with antibody deficiencies depend on the presence of a variety of antibody specificities in intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to ensure continued protection against pathogens. Few studies have examined levels of antibodies to specific pathogens in IVIG preparations and little is known about the specific antibody levels in patients under regular IVIG treatment. The current study determined the range of antibodies to tetanus, diphtheria, measles and varicella in IVIG products and the levels of these antibodies in patients undergoing IVIG treatment.
Methods
We selected 21 patients with primary antibody deficiencies who were receiving regular therapy with IVIG. Over a period of one year, we collected four blood samples from each patient (every 3 months), immediately before immunoglobulin infusion. We also collected samples from the IVIG preparation the patients received the month prior to blood collection. Antibody levels to tetanus, diphtheria, measles and varicella virus were measured in plasma and IVIG samples. Total IgG levels were determined in plasma samples.
Results
Antibody levels to tetanus, diphtheria, varicella virus and measles showed considerable variation in different IVIG lots, but they were similar when compared between commercial preparations. All patients presented with protective levels of antibodies specific for tetanus, measles and varicella. Some patients had suboptimal diphtheria antibody levels. There was a significant correlation between serum and IVIG antibodies to all pathogens, except tetanus. There was a significant correlation between diphtheria and varicella antibodies with total IgG levels, but there was no significant correlation with antibodies to tetanus or measles.
Conclusions
The study confirmed the variation in specific antibody levels between batches of the same brand of IVIG. Apart from the most common infections to which these patients are susceptible, health care providers must be aware of other vaccine preventable diseases, which still exist globally.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-15-26
PMCID: PMC4074853  PMID: 24952415
Immunoglobulins; Intravenous; Antibody deficiency syndromes; Tetanus; Diphtheria; Measles; Chickenpox
18.  Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis and X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia: An Uncommon Association 
Case Reports in Pediatrics  2014;2014:480947.
Introduction. X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by agammaglobulinemia requiring replacement treatment with immunoglobulin. The association of XLA and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) is unexpected and, to our knowledge, only one case was previously published. Case Report. The authors report the case of a 10-year-old boy with family history and prenatal diagnosis of XLA, treated from birth with intravenous immunoglobulin replacement therapy. He presented with pneumonia, macroscopic hematuria, nephrotic proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and hypercholesterolemia with normal renal function and serum complement levels. Renal histology showed immune complex mediated MPGN. He was started on high dose prednisolone and ramipril and switched to weekly subcutaneous immunoglobulin. After a 4-month treatment, hematuria and proteinuria significantly improved and prednisolone was gradually tapered without relapse. Conclusion. The pathogenic process underlying MPGN development in this patient is unknown but residual humoral immunity might play an important role. Thus, this case highlights the risk of autoimmune disorders among patients with XLA.
doi:10.1155/2014/480947
PMCID: PMC3971515  PMID: 24716070
19.  Feasibility of fully automated closed-loop glucose control using continuous subcutaneous glucose measurements in critical illness: a randomized controlled trial 
Critical Care  2013;17(4):R159.
Introduction
Closed-loop (CL) systems modulate insulin delivery according to glucose levels without nurse input. In a prospective randomized controlled trial, we evaluated the feasibility of an automated closed-loop approach based on subcutaneous glucose measurements in comparison with a local sliding-scale insulin-therapy protocol.
Methods
Twenty-four critically ill adults (predominantly trauma and neuroscience patients) with hyperglycemia (glucose, ≥10 mM) or already receiving insulin therapy, were randomized to receive either fully automated closed-loop therapy (model predictive control algorithm directing insulin and 20% dextrose infusion based on FreeStyle Navigator continuous subcutaneous glucose values, n = 12) or a local protocol (n = 12) with intravenous sliding-scale insulin, over a 48-hour period. The primary end point was percentage of time when arterial blood glucose was between 6.0 and 8.0 mM.
Results
The time when glucose was in the target range was significantly increased during closed-loop therapy (54.3% (44.1 to 72.8) versus 18.5% (0.1 to 39.9), P = 0.001; median (interquartile range)), and so was time in wider targets, 5.6 to 10.0 mM and 4.0 to 10.0 mM (P ≤ 0.002), reflecting a reduced glucose exposure >8 and >10 mM (P ≤ 0.002). Mean glucose was significantly lower during CL (7.8 (7.4 to 8.2) versus 9.1 (8.3 to 13.0] mM; P = 0.001) without hypoglycemia (<4 mM) during either therapy.
Conclusions
Fully automated closed-loop control based on subcutaneous glucose measurements is feasible and may provide efficacious and hypoglycemia-free glucose control in critically ill adults.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, NCT01440842.
doi:10.1186/cc12838
PMCID: PMC4056260  PMID: 23883613
20.  Direct Comparison of the Safety and Efficacy of Ferric Carboxymaltose versus Iron Dextran in Patients with Iron Deficiency Anemia 
Anemia  2013;2013:169107.
Several intravenous iron complexes are available for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Iron dextran (DEX) is associated with an elevated risk of potentially serious anaphylactic reactions, whereas others must be administered in several small infusions to avoid labile iron reactions. Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) is a nondextran intravenous iron which can be administered in high single doses. A randomized, open label, and multicenter comparison of FCM to DEX in adults with IDA and baseline hemoglobin of ≤11.0 g/dL was conducted. A total of 160 patients were in the safety population (FCM n = 82; DEX n = 78). Adverse events, including immune system disorders (0% in FCM versus 10.3% in DEX, P = 0.003) and skin disorders (7.3% in FCM versus 24.4% in DEX, P = 0.004), were less frequently observed in the FCM group. A greater portion of patients in the FCM group experienced a transient, asymptomatic decrease in phosphate compared to patients in the DEX group (8.5% in FCM versus 0% in DEX, P = 0.014). In the FCM arm, the change in hemoglobin from baseline to the highest observed level was 2.8 g/dL, whereas the DEX arm displayed a change of 2.4 g/dL (P = 0.20). Treatment of IDA with FCM resulted in fewer hypersensitivity-related reactions than DEX.
doi:10.1155/2013/169107
PMCID: PMC3773415  PMID: 24069536
21.  Gene Expression Profiling in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Patients with Common Variable Immunodeficiency: Modulation of Adaptive Immune Response following Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97571.
Background
Regular intravenous immunoglobulin treatment is used to replace antibody deficiency in primary immunodeficiency diseases; however the therapeutic effect seems to be related not only to antibody replacement but also to an active role in the modulation of the immune response. Common variable immunodeficiency is the most frequent primary immunodeficiency seen in clinical practice.
Methods
We have studied the effect of intravenous immunoglobulin replacement in patients with common variable immunodeficiency by evaluating the gene-expression profiles from Affimetrix HG-U133A. Some of the gene array results were validated by real time RT-PCR and by the measurement of circulating cytokines and chemokines by ELISA. Moreover we performed FACS analysis of blood mononuclear cells from the patients enrolled in the study.
Results
A series of genes involved in innate and acquired immune responses were markedly up- or down-modulated before therapy. Such genes included CD14, CD36, LEPR, IRF-5, RGS-1, CD38, TNFRSF25, IL-4, CXCR4, CCR3, IL-8. Most of these modulated genes showed an expression similar to that of normal controls after immunoglobulin replacement. Real time RT-PCR of selected genes and serum levels of IL-4, CXCR4 before and after therapy changed accordingly to gene array results. Interestingly, serum levels of IL-8 remained unchanged, as the corresponding gene, before and after treatment. FACS analysis showed a marked decrease of CD8+T cells and an increase of CD4+T cells following treatment. Moreover we observed a marked increase of CD23−CD27−IgM−IgG− B cells (centrocytes).
Conclusions
Our results are in accordance with previous reports and provide further support to the hypothesis that the benefits of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy are not only related to antibody replacement but also to its ability to modulate the immune response in common variable immunodeficiency.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097571
PMCID: PMC4022614  PMID: 24831519
22.  Managing diabetic ketoacidosis in non-intensive care unit setting: Role of insulin analogs 
Indian Journal of Pharmacology  2011;43(4):398-401.
Aim:
To compare the efficacy and safety of rapid acting insulin analog lispro given subcutaneously with that of standard low-dose intravenous regular insulin infusion protocolin patients with mild to moderate diabetic ketoacidosis.
Materials and Methods:
In this prospective, randomized and open trial, 50 consecutive patients of mild to moderate diabetic ketoacidosis were randomly assigned to two groups. The patients in group 1 were treated with intravenous regular insulin infusion and admitted in intensive care unit. The patients in group 2 were treated with subcutaneous insulin lispro 2 hourly and managed in the emergency medical ward. Response to therapy was assessed by duration of treatment and amount of insulin administered until resolution of hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis, total length of hospital stay, and number of hypoglycemic events in the two study groups.
Results:
The baseline clinical and biochemical parameters were similar between the two groups. There were no differences in the mean duration of treatment and amount of insulin required for correction of hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis. There was no mortality and no difference in the length of hospital stay between the two groups. The length of stay and amount of insulin required for correction of hyperglycemia was greater in patients who had infection as the precipitating cause than those with poor compliance. The hypoglycemic events were higher in the regular insulin group (2 vs1) than in the lispro group.
Conclusion:
Patients with uncomplicated diabetic ketoacidosis can be managed in the medical wards with appropriate supervision and careful monitoring. Rapid acting insulin analog lispro is a safe and effective alternative to intravenous regular insulin for this subset of patients.
doi:10.4103/0253-7613.83109
PMCID: PMC3153701  PMID: 21844993
Diabetic ketoacidosis; hyperglycemic crises; insulin analog
23.  Thromboembolic complications of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in an immunocompromised patient with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:9078.
Introduction
Infectious complications represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The etiology is postulated to be secondary to aberrations in cell-mediated immunity, as well as to therapy-related immunosuppression. Hypogammaglobulinemia, which occurs in virtually all patients with CLL, may be profound and correlates with disease duration and stage. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy has been used successfully to prevent and treat infections in this cohort of patients. However IVIG administration and treatment is not benign and should be used with caution given the potential manifestations of thromboembolic complications. High concentration and rapid infusion rate of the IVIG, as well as increased dose and osmolarity of the solution are thought to predispose to thrombotic events. Serum viscosity is the implicated mechanism for compromised blood flow and predisposition of high-risk patients to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular infarction. We report a case of IVIG related thromboembolic manifestations in a CLL patient, to highlight the importance of risk stratifying patients prior to treatment administration.
Case presentation
We present a 55-year-old Caucasian man with CLL who presented to our clinic with neutropenic fevers following a cycle of chemotherapy. Laboratory parameters revealed hypogammaglobulinemia prompting IVIG administration. Shortly thereafter, he developed a massive cascade of thromboembolic phenomena precipitating his demise.
Conclusion
The current consensus surrounding IVIG is that of a relatively safe treatment, with minor adverse effects such as hypertension, fever and chills, nausea, myalgias, or headache. However our report highlights the importance of proceeding with caution in the application of this therapy, as it's proclivity for thrombotic complications has not been fully elucidated in patients with underlying malignancies. Pre-existing thrombogenic risk factors should be carefully evaluated in patients undergoing treatment with IVIG. Clinical evaluation, with careful attention to vascular history and underlying co-morbidities can potentially unmask the high-risk patient where IVIG could be lethal.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-9078
PMCID: PMC2803875  PMID: 20062715
24.  Anti-D immunoglobulin treatment for thrombocytopenia associated with primary antibody deficiency 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2002;55(1):64-66.
Aims: To review our experience of anti-D immunoglobulin for immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in patients with primary antibody deficiency.
Methods/patients: A retrospective case notes review of four Rhesus positive patients with ITP and primary antibody deficiency, treated with anti-D. Patients were refractory to steroids and high dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Two patients were previously splenectomised.
Results: All patients responded to anti-D immunoglobulin. Improved platelet counts were sustained for at least three months. Side effects included a fall in haemoglobin in all cases; one patient required red blood cell transfusion. Two patients had transient neutropenia (< 1 × 109/litre).
Conclusion: Anti-D immunoglobulin may be an effective treatment for antibody deficiency associated thrombocytopenia, even after splenectomy. Anti-D immunoglobulin may have considerable clinical advantages in this group of patients, where treatments resulting in further immunosuppression are relatively contraindicated.
PMCID: PMC1769561  PMID: 11825928
anti-D immunoglobulin; immune thrombocytopenia; primary antibody deficiency; splenectomy
25.  Population Pharmacokinetics of Sifalimumab, an Investigational Anti-Interferon-α Monoclonal Antibody, in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Clinical Pharmacokinetics  2013;52:1017-1027.
Background and Objectives
Sifalimumab is a fully human immunoglobulin G1κ monoclonal antibody that binds to and neutralizes a majority of the subtypes of human interferon-α. Sifalimumab is being evaluated as a treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The primary objectives of this analysis were (a) to develop a population pharmacokinetic model for sifalimumab in SLE; (b) to identify and quantitate the impact of patient/disease characteristics on pharmacokinetic variability; and (c) to evaluate fixed versus body weight (WT)-based dosing regimens.
Methods
Sifalimumab serum concentration-time data were collected from a phase Ib study (MI-CP152) designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of sifalimumab in adult patients with SLE. Sifalimumab was administered every 14 days as a 30- to 60-minute intravenous infusion with escalating doses of 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, and 10 mg/kg and serum concentrations were collected over 350 days. A total of 120 patients provided evaluable pharmacokinetic data with a total of 2,370 serum concentrations. Sifalimumab serum concentrations were determined using a validated colorimetric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a lower limit of quantitation of 1.25 μg/mL. Population pharmacokinetic modeling of sifalimumab was performed using a non-linear mixed effects modeling approach with NONMEM VII software. Impact of patient demographics, clinical indices, and biomarkers on pharmacokinetic parameters were explored using a stepwise forward selection and backward elimination approach. The appropriateness of the final model was tested using visual predictive check (VPC). The impact of body WT-based and fixed dosing of sifalimumab was evaluated using a simulation approach. The final population model was utilized for phase IIb dosing projections.
Results
Sifalimumab pharmacokinetics were best described using a two-compartment linear model with first order elimination. Following intravenous dosing, the typical clearance (CL) and central volume of distribution (V1) were estimated to be 176 mL/day and 2.9 L, respectively. The estimates (coefficient of variation) of between-subject variability for CL and V1 were 28 and 31 %, respectively. Patient baseline body WT, interferon gene signature from 21 genes, steroid use, and sifalimumab dose were identified as significant covariates for CL, whereas only baseline body WT was a significant covariate for V1 and peripheral volume of distribution (V2). Although the above-mentioned covariates were statistically significant, they did not explain variability in pharmacokinetic parameters to any relevant extent (<7 %). Thus, no dosing adjustments are necessary. VPC confirmed good predictability of the final population pharmacokinetic model. Simulation results demonstrate that both fixed and body WT-based dosing regimens yield similar median steady state concentrations and overall variability. Fixed sifalimumab doses of 200, 600, and 1,200 mg monthly (with a loading dose at Day 14) were selected for a phase IIb clinical trial.
Conclusion
A two-compartment population pharmacokinetic model adequately described sifalimumab pharmacokinetics. The estimated typical pharmacokinetic parameters were similar to other monoclonal antibodies without target mediated elimination. Although the population pharmacokinetic analysis identified some statistically significant covariates, they explained <7 % between-subject variability in pharmacokinetic parameters indicating that these covariates are not clinically relevant. The population pharmacokinetic analysis also demonstrated the feasibility of switching to fixed doses in phase IIb clinical trials of sifalimumab.
doi:10.1007/s40262-013-0085-2
PMCID: PMC3824374  PMID: 23754736

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