Update on Intravenous Immunoglobulin in Neurology: Modulating Neuro-autoimmunity, Evolving Factors on Efficacy and Dosing and Challenges on Stopping Chronic IVIg ... View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2021-11-11

AUTHORS

Marinos C. Dalakas

ABSTRACT

In the last 25 years, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has had a major impact in the successful treatment of previously untreatable or poorly controlled autoimmune neurological disorders. Derived from thousands of healthy donors, IVIg contains IgG1 isotypes of idiotypic antibodies that have the potential to bind pathogenic autoantibodies or cross-react with various antigenic peptides, including proteins conserved among the "common cold"-pre-pandemic coronaviruses; as a result, after IVIg infusions, some of the patients' sera may transiently become positive for various neuronal antibodies, even for anti-SARS-CoV-2, necessitating caution in separating antibodies derived from the infused IVIg or acquired humoral immunity. IVIg exerts multiple effects on the immunoregulatory network by variably affecting autoantibodies, complement activation, FcRn saturation, FcγRIIb receptors, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators. Based on randomized controlled trials, IVIg is approved for the treatment of GBS, CIDP, MMN and dermatomyositis; has been effective in, myasthenia gravis exacerbations, and stiff-person syndrome; and exhibits convincing efficacy in autoimmune epilepsy, neuromyelitis, and autoimmune encephalitis. Recent evidence suggests that polymorphisms in the genes encoding FcRn and FcγRIIB may influence the catabolism of infused IgG or its anti-inflammatory effects, impacting on individualized dosing or efficacy. For chronic maintenance therapy, IVIg and subcutaneous IgG are effective in controlled studies only in CIDP and MMN preventing relapses and axonal loss up to 48 weeks; in practice, however, IVIg is continuously used for years in all the aforementioned neurological conditions, like is a "forever necessary therapy" for maintaining stability, generating challenges on when and how to stop it. Because about 35-40% of patients on chronic therapy do not exhibit objective neurological signs of worsening after stopping IVIg but express subjective symptoms of fatigue, pains, spasms, or a feeling of generalized weakness, a conditioning effect combined with fear that discontinuing chronic therapy may destabilize a multi-year stability status is likely. The dilemmas of continuing chronic therapy, the importance of adjusting dosing and scheduling or periodically stopping IVIg to objectively assess necessity, and concerns in accurately interpreting IVIg-dependency are discussed. Finally, the merit of subcutaneous IgG, the ineffectiveness of IVIg in IgG4-neurological autoimmunities, and genetic factors affecting IVIg dosing and efficacy are addressed. More... »

PAGES

1-22

References to SciGraph publications

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    DIMENSIONS

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    PUBMED

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34766257


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    130 potential
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    147 subjective symptoms
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