Pompholyx and eczematous reactions associated with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Feb;66(2):312-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.12.034. Epub 2011 May 20.


Introduction: Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is used to treat many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and although generally well tolerated, cutaneous side effects occur.

Objective: We reviewed reports of pompholyx and eczematous reactions associated with IVIG.

Methods: A literature search was performed using the PubMed and MEDLINE databases with the search terms "intravenous immunoglobulin pompholyx," "intravenous immunoglobulin eczema," "intravenous immunoglobulin cutaneous adverse effects," "intravenous immunoglobulin cutaneous effects," "intravenous immunoglobulin skin effects," and "intravenous immunoglobulin adverse effects." Relevant English-language articles or articles in other languages cited in English-language articles were included.

Results: We identified 64 cases of eczematous reactions associated with IVIG therapy, including a patient treated on our inpatient consult service. In reported cases, the majority of patients (62.5%) had pompholyx alone or a combination of pompholyx on the hands or feet and two or fewer additional body surfaces involved. The majority of reported cases (75%) experienced the eczematous reaction after their first IVIG treatment. Neurologic conditions were the most common (85.9%) diseases for which IVIG was used. Most patients responded well to topical steroids or did not require treatment.

Limitations: Some reported cases had insufficient descriptions to be included in this review. A literature review may underestimate the frequency of eczematous reactions to IVIG because these reactions are often limited and may not be reported.

Conclusions: With the use of IVIG increasing, it is important for dermatologists to recognize this cutaneous side effect of IVIG.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Eczema / chemically induced*
  • Eczema / drug therapy
  • Eczema, Dyshidrotic / chemically induced*
  • Eczema, Dyshidrotic / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive / adverse effects
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Steroids