Safety and efficacy of self-administered subcutaneous immunoglobulin in patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases

J Clin Immunol. 2006 May;26(3):265-73. doi: 10.1007/s10875-006-9021-7.


Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) infusions at 3-4 week intervals are currently standard therapy in the United States for patients with primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDD). To evaluate alternative modes of immunoglobulin administration we have designed an open-label study to investigate the efficacy and safety of a subcutaneously administered immunoglobulin preparation (16% IgG) in patients with PIDD. After their final IVIg infusion, 65 patients entered a 3-month, wash-in/wash-out phase, designed to bring patients to steady-state with subcutaneously administered immunoglobulin. This was followed by 12 months of weekly SCIg infusions, at a dose determined in a pharmacokinetic substudy to provide noninferior intravascular exposure. This resulted in a mean weekly dose of 158 mg/kg, calculated to equal 137% of the previous intravenous dose. Two patients (4%) each reported 1 serious bacterial infection (pneumonia), an annual rate of 0.04 per patient-year. There were 4.43 infections of any type per patient-year. Mean trough serum IgG levels increased from 786 to 1040 mg/dL during the study, a mean increase of 39%. The most frequent treatment-related adverse event was infusion-site reaction, reported by 91% of patients; this was predominantly mild or moderate, and the incidence decreased over time. No treatment-related serious adverse events were reported. We conclude that subcutaneous administration of 16% SCIg is a safe and effective alternative to IVIg for replacement therapy of PIDD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agammaglobulinemia / drug therapy
  • Agammaglobulinemia / immunology*
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulins / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulins / adverse effects
  • Immunoglobulins / therapeutic use*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / drug therapy
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Vivaglobin