High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in juvenile myasthenia gravis.

Pediatr Neurol. 2000 Jan;22(1):40-3.
Selcen D, Dabrowski ER, Michon AM, Nigro MA.

Department of Neurology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Autoimmune neurologic disease management has been significantly modified by the use of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (HDIVIG) during the past 15 years. Venous access, readily available IgG (until recently), and the relative lack of serious identifiable complications have prompted its use in myasthenia gravis. In adults, its effectiveness has been inconsistent, with variable acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody responses. Ten children were evaluated for clinical responses to, and complications of, HDIVIG. Weekly anti-AChR antibody titers in three patients were obtained. The HDIVIG dosage was 2 gm/kg body weight, infused at variable rates of 2 gm/kg for 1 day, 0.66 gm/kg daily for 3 days, and 0.5 g/kg daily for 4 days; in one patient the total dose was 0.8 gm/kg to correct to the ideal body weight. All children but one tolerated HDIVIG without complications. Eight patients exhibited definite improvement in functional strength after HDIVIG, but a decreasing response to HDIVIG was evident after multiple monthly treatments, warranting the additional use of corticosteroids in two patients. A decrease in anti-AChR antibody levels was observed in the three patients tested, but this decrease was constant in one patient. No correlation was observed between clinical response and antibody titers. HDIVIG is safe and effective in most patients for short-term management of juvenile myasthenia gravis, in myasthenic crises, and in preparing patients for surgery but appears to be of limited long-term benefit.

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