The effects of IgM-enriched immunoglobulin preparations in patients with severe sepsis [ISRCTN28863830]

Crit Care. 2002 Aug;6(4):357-62. doi: 10.1186/cc1523. Epub 2002 May 14.


Introduction: In this prospective, randomized controlled study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of IgM-enriched immunoglobulin treatment on progression of organ failure and septic shock in patients with severe sepsis.

Materials and methods: Forty-two patients with severe sepsis were enrolled in the study. Patients in the study group (n = 21) received an intravenous immunoglobulin preparation (Pentaglobin in addition to standard therapy. Pentaglobin therapy was commenced on the day of diagnosis of severe sepsis: 5 ml/kg per day Pentaglobin (38 g/l IgG, 6 g/l IgM, and 6 g/l IgA) was infused over 6 hours and repeated for 3 consecutive days. Patients in the control group (n = 18) received standard sepsis therapy, but no immunoglobulin administration. Blood samples for procalcitonin (PCT) measurements were taken daily for 8 days. Severity of critical illness and development of organ failure were assessed by obtaining daily acute physiological and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores.

Results and discussion: Procalcitonin levels showed a statistically significant decrease in the Pentaglobin group (P < 0.001); however, an improvement in SOFA scores could not be demonstrated. Procalcitonin levels and SOFA scores did not change significantly in the control group. Septic shock incidence (38% versus 57%) and 28-day mortality rate (23.8% versus 33.3%) were found to be similar between the Pentaglobin and control groups. The evaluation of serial APACHE II scores did not demonstrate a difference between Pentaglobin and control groups either.

Conclusion: Present data could not demonstrate any beneficial effects of polyclonal immunoglobulin preparation Pentaglobin on organ morbidity, septic shock incidence and mortality rate in patients with severe sepsis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcitonin / blood*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / therapeutic use*
  • Immunoglobulin M / therapeutic use*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Precursors / blood*
  • Sepsis / classification
  • Sepsis / drug therapy*
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • CALCA protein, human
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Protein Precursors
  • Calcitonin
  • pentaglobulin
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN28863830