Systematic review of intravenous immunoglobulin in haemolytic disease of the newborn

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2003 Jan;88(1):F6-10. doi: 10.1136/fn.88.1.f6.


Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of high dose intravenous immunoglobulin (HDIVIG) in reducing the need for exchange transfusion in neonates with proven haemolytic disease due to Rh and/or ABO incompatibility. To assess the effectiveness of HDIVIG in reducing the duration of phototherapy and hospital stay.

Design: Systematic review of randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing HDIVIG and phototherapy with phototherapy alone in neonates with Rh and/or ABO incompatibility.

Results: Significantly fewer infants required exchange transfusion in the HDIVIG group (relative risk (RR) 0.28 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17 to 0.47); number needed to treat 2.7 (95% CI 2.0 to 3.8)). Also hospital stay and duration of phototherapy were significantly reduced.

Conclusion: HDIVIG is an effective treatment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion / methods
  • Erythroblastosis, Fetal / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / adverse effects
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous