Intravenous immunoglobulin may lessen all forms of infection in patients receiving allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a pediatric oncology group study

Bone Marrow Transplant. 1988 Nov;3(6):559-66.


Fifty patients with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation after conditioning with high-dose cytosine arabinoside and fractionated total body irradiation. Twenty-nine received intravenous immunoglobulin (i.v.Ig) infusion, primarily to prevent cytomegalovirus infection, and 21 did not. The two groups were biologically comparable. Seven (24.5%) of the i.v.Ig-treated and 14 (66.7%) of the non-i.v.Ig-treated patients developed systemic viral, fungal or bacterial infections and/or interstitial pneumonitis (p less than 0.005), which were fatal in three and 12 cases respectively (p less than 0.001). Currently, 23 (79.3%) of the 29 i.v.Ig-treated and eight (38.1%) of the 21 non-i.v.Ig-treated patients are alive and well (p less than 0.01). We conclude that prophylactic i.v.Ig infusions may reduce the frequency of all forms of serious infection in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing allogeneic marrow transplantation, and thereby improve their survival expectation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Child
  • Cytarabine / administration & dosage*
  • Graft Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunoglobulins / administration & dosage*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Opportunistic Infections / prevention & control*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / surgery*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Cytarabine