A review of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (hdIVIg) in the treatment of the autoimmune blistering disorders

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2001 Mar;26(2):127-31. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2230.2001.00779.x.


High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (hdIVIg) is being used increasingly for dermatological indications. Its mode of action is via a number of proposed mechanisms and it is not associated with the many side-effects of steroids and other immunosuppressive agents. The evidence for using hdIVIg in the treatment of autoimmune bullous disorders is based on uncontrolled trials and case reports. However, there are now 62 reported patients and this review aims to make a critical assessment of the current data. This has been obtained from a Medline search of the English literature from 1966 to 2000 for pemphigus vulgaris, pemphigus foliaceus, bullous pemphigoid, pemphigoid gestationis, cicatricial pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita and linear IgA disease. Taken together hdIVIg was effective in 81% of the patients with blistering disease. Patients appear to be more likely to respond when hdIVIg is used as adjunctive therapy (91% response rate) than as monotherapy (56% response rate). hdIVIg may offer a safe potential therapeutic avenue for resistant cases of the autoimmune bullous disorders but should be further assessed using double-blind placebo-controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Acquisita / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / drug therapy
  • Pemphigus / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous / drug therapy*


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous