High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin in the treatment of adult patients with bullous pemphigoid

Eur J Dermatol. May-Jun 2012;22(3):363-9. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2012.1717.


High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has only been sporadically used in the treatment of bullous pemphigoid (BP), as it is suggested as an adjuvant to systemic corticosteroids in progressive disease or when life-threatening complications are of concern with other therapeutic interventions. The aim of the present study was to report our observations in the treatment of adult BP patients with IVIg, in association with a focused literature review. In our Department we identified five patients (4 women, 1 man) who had received IVIg for BP relatively early in the course of their disease. These cases were added to the 36 adequately documented ones reported in the literature. Most of these patients (33/41) responded to treatment with IVIg and 7/33 responders remained clear one year after the onset of IVIg. However, the time for effective disease control after IVIg treatment depended positively on disease duration before treatment (P<0.01). In conclusion, despite the limited experience with its use, IVIg seems to be a useful therapeutic alternative to conventional modalities for selected BP patients, particularly if it is initiated promptly after BP diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous