Intravenous immunoglobulin in MS: promise or failure?J Neurol Sci 2007; 259(1-2):61-6JN
There is an established role for intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in the treatment of certain neurologic autoimmune disorders which affect the peripheral nervous system and a variety of immunomodulatory properties of IVIG have been proposed. This prompted an intense research into the efficacy of IVIG in central nervous system autoimmune disorders and until now several well-controlled clinical trials have been performed in different stages and phenotypes of multiple sclerosis (MS). The results were mixed. Speculations that IVIG might be able to reverse fixed neurologic deficits from MS could not be confirmed. Adding IVIG to the conventional treatment of MS relapses with high-dose IVMP also did not provide any additional benefits. Similarly, trials failed to establish a role for IVIG in the treatment of secondary or primary progressive MS. Most consistent beneficial results with a reduction of relapse rates and a slowing of disability have been obtained in relapsing-remitting MS including clinically isolated syndromes although a most recent study did not confirm a reduction of disease activity based on clinical and MRI findings. Trial results also suggest that IVIG might serve to suppress an increased recurrence of relapses immediately after delivery. Consequently, IVIG treatment may be considered as second line option for these indications although there is still uncertainty regarding the actual mechanism(s) of action and optimal dosage of this treatment.