Subcutaneous immunoglobulin in polymyositis and dermatomyositis: a novel application

Autoimmun Rev. 2011 Jan;10(3):144-9. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2010.09.004. Epub 2010 Sep 19.


Objectives: To describe the feasibility and safety of subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) in polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM).

Methods: Since 2009, we used SCIg to treat patients with severe idiopathic myositis (4 with DM, 3 with PM), diagnosed according to the Bohan and Peter's criteria. SCIg (Vivaglobin®; CSL Behring) was administered by a programmable pump at the patient's usual IVIg monthly dose fractioned into equal doses given subcutaneously at weekly intervals. A standardized protocol was used to evaluate patients and to assess disease activity, treatment response and quality of life.

Results: Seven female patients were studied. All were Caucasians, with a median age of 53 years and a median disease duration of 72 months. The median follow-up period was 14±4 months. During treatment period, no relapse of the disease occurred. All patients showed a favourable clinical response and reported a good tolerance to the treatment with an improved quality of life. CK serum levels decreased over time with a concomitant improvement in MRC and Rankin modified scores. Three patients were able to discontinue the immunosuppressant and all to reduce the daily maintenance prednisone dose.

Conclusions: Our experience demonstrates the beneficial effect and the safety of SCIg administration in active and refractory inflammatory myopathies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dermatomyositis / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / administration & dosage*
  • Immunoglobulins / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Infusions, Subcutaneous
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymyositis / drug therapy*
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Time Factors


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Vivaglobin
  • Prednisone