Intravenous immunoglobulin in hemolytic disease of the newborn: a moving target in time

  • G Vardar
  • MA Okan
  • N Karadag
  • S Topcuoglu
  • E Ozalkaya
  • HO Karatepe
  • G Karatekin
Keywords: Alloimmune hemolytic disease of the newborn; exchange transfusion; intravenous immunoglobulin; phototherapy


Alloimmune hemolytic disease of the newborn (AIHDN) results in hemolysis, anemia, hyperbilirubinemia with the potential for brain damage. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) has been investigated as an alternative low‑risk procedure for the treatment of AIHDN in addition to traditional treatment methods such as phototherapy and exchange transfusion (ET). Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of IVIG therapy in decreasing ET needs based on risk factors and clinical outcomes. Materials and Methods: Charts of neonates born >30 weeks of gestation who underwent phototherapy and were administered IVIG therapy due to AIHDN between January 2013 and July 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Results: Sixty‑three neonates were included in our study. Forty‑three of them (68.3) % were full‑term infants. ABO incompatibility (n = 33, 52.4%) was the major cause of AIHDN (n = 63). Additional risk factors for jaundice were found to coexist in 95.2% (n = 60) of the infants. Fifteen infants (23.8%) required ET, mostly due to Rh incompatibility (n = 11, 73.3%). Mortality was observed in 3.2% (n = 2) of the patients, 1.6% (n = 1) of whom were related to ET. Serum albumin value was found to be negatively correlated with the requirement for ET (r = 0.713, P < 0.001), whereas serum bilirubin albumin ratio was positively correlated (r = 0.489, _P < 0.001). Nine (14.3%) infants needed a simple transfusion during the hospitalization period, whereas five (7.9%) infants had readmission for simple transfusion after discharge. Apnea was the only complication seen in one (1.6%) patient. Conclusion: IVIG treatment should be considered due to its relative benefits when compared to exchange transfusion. In addition to its safety, it is a less complicated treatment modality with low side effect rates. It may be justified for elective use in neonates suffering from AIHDN, who will require ET with a risk of mortality by decreasing the peak of total serum bilirubin levels.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-7731
print ISSN: 1119-3077