Pattern of intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) use in a pediatric intensive care facility in a resource limited setting
Background: Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) preparations are scarce biological products used for replacement or immunomodulatory effects. Guidelines have been issued by regulatory health authorities to ensure provision of the products for patients who are in severe need.
Objectives: The study aimed at description of the pattern of IVIG use (label/off label indications), adverse effects observed, reason for choice of IVIG among other modalities and efficacy in a pediatric intensive care setting.
Methods: A retrospective chart review. Patients: The study included 45 cases admitted from 2008 through 2011 in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of a tertiary referral pediatric hospital.
Results: The clinical diagnoses included neurology (35%), neonatology (16%), hematology (11%), autoimmune disorders (11%) immunodeficiency disorders (11%), infections other than neonatal sepsis (9%) and cardiology (6.5 %). The indications for IVIG use had an Evidence category Ia / Ib in 62 % of cases whereas the other 38 % had level II and III evidence. Choice of IVIG as a therapeutic option was based on failure of other treatment options to achieve response in 46.5%, lack of alternative treatment options 15.5 % and the need for urgent response in 38 %. Adverse events, duration and doses are reported.
Conclusion: IVIG use is governed by availability of alternative options and the need for urgent response in critically ill children. Guidelines should be issued based on locally available treatment options and their cost effectiveness.
Keywords: Intravenous Immunoglobulin-Pediatrics- critically ill children