Intravenous immunoglobulin for adjunctive treatment of severe infections in ICUs

Cécile Aubron, Florian Berteau, Rosemary L. Sparrow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review

This review focuses on the emerging literature regarding the use of intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) in critically ill patients with severe infections. The aim is to provide an accessible summary of the most recent evidence of IVIg use in sepsis and septic shock and to help clinicians to understand why there is still equipoise regarding the potential benefit of this adjunctive therapy in this setting.Recent findingsObservational studies with propensity score matching analyses and investigating the effect of IVIg in severe infections including necrotizing soft tissue infection have been recently published. These studies suffer important flaws precluding robust conclusion to be drawn. Some recent randomized controlled trials raised interesting findings supportive of personalized medicine but are likely to be underpowered or confounded.SummaryInsufficient evidence is available to support IVIg use in sepsis and septic shock, apart from the specific case of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. Current literature suggests that IVIg efficacy in sepsis or septic shock could depend on the IVIg preparation (IgM-enriched or minimal IgM), time of administration (<24 h), dose, and the inflammatory/immunomodulation profile of the patients. Investigator-initiated research, incorporating these parameters, is warranted to determine whether IVIg benefits critically ill patients with severe infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • intravenous immunoglobulins
  • sepsis
  • septic shock
  • severe bacterial infection

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