A Phase I/IIa Trial of Intravenous Immunoglobulin Following Portoenterostomy in Biliary Atresia

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2019 Apr;68(4):495-501. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002256.


Objectives: Biliary atresia (BA) is a progressive neonatal fibroinflammatory cholangiopathy. We hypothesized that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) would be safe, feasible, acceptable, and efficacious for the treatment of BA. The primary objective of this study was to establish the feasibility, acceptability, and safety profile of IVIg administration after hepatoportoenterostomy (HPE) in BA. The secondary objective was to determine the treatment efficacy of IVIg based on good bile drainage and survival with the native liver.

Methods: A multicenter, prospective, open-labeled, phase I/IIA trial of IVIg was conducted, with 1 g/kg/dose of IVIg infused at 3-5, 30, and 60 days post-HPE, and subjects followed for 360 days post-HPE. Twenty-nine participants completed the study.

Results: Administration of IVIg infusions was feasible and acceptable in 79%. None of the serious adverse events (SAEs) were directly related to IVIg infusions; however, 90% of participants had an SAE. Compared with a historical placebo-arm group, there was no significant increase in the proportion of IVIg participants with a serum total bilirubin <1.5 mg/dL at 90, 180, or 360 days post-HPE. Survival with the native liver in the IVIg participants showed no significant benefit over the historical placebo arm, with a difference at 360 days of -11.9% (IVIg: 58.6%, placebo: 70.5%; 90% UCB: 2.1%; P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Although IVIg infusions in infants with BA post-HPE were feasible, acceptable and safe, there was no trend to lower bilirubin levels or improved 360-day survival with the native liver.

Clinical trial: Safety Study of Intravenous Immunoglobulin Post-Portoenterostomy in Biliary Atresia; #NCT01854827.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biliary Atresia / mortality
  • Biliary Atresia / surgery*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Portoenterostomy, Hepatic
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01854827