High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin G treatment of myasthenia gravis.

Neurol Sci. 2002 Apr;23 Suppl 1:S9-24.
Ferrero B, Durelli L.

Neurological Division, Giovanni Bosco Hospital, Turin, Italy.

IVIg is a safe and effective adjunctive treatment for myasthenia gravis, but there are no well established guidelines for the use of IVIg in this disease, lacking controlled randomized trials to assess its efficacy in homogeneous group of patients. The main advantages of IVIg are the rapid onset of the effect, the lack of long-term toxicity, and the possibility to reduce the required doses of immunosuppressive drugs. IVIg appears to have a role as an acute treatment in rapidly progressive myasthenia gravis weakness, particularly in situations when therapeutic apheresis is not feasible. In addition, IVIg is safer than plasma exchange (PE) in patients with hypotension or autonomic instability, in children, in patients of older age (>65 years), and in those suffering from sepsis. For these reasons, at present, IVIg are recommended during crises of myasthenia gravis in older patients when PE is contraindicated or not feasible IVIg can be also used as a chronic maintenance therapy when other immunosuppressive treatments have failed or cannot be used. Periodic administration of IVIg on a bimonthly or monthly basis may be able to stabilize chronic, nonresponding patients.

Publication Types:
  • Review
  • Review, Academic

PMID: 12032583 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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