Impact of IVIG vs. SCIG on IgG trough level and infection incidence in primary immunodeficiency diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical studies

World Allergy Organ J. 2019 Oct 9;12(10):100068. doi: 10.1016/j.waojou.2019.100068. eCollection 2019 Oct.


Background: Monthly intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and weekly subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) have been regarded as therapeutically equivalent treatments for primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD). Immunoglobulin G (IgG) trough level is used as a monitoring measure for infection prevention.

Objective: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to elucidate the relationship between IgG dosing, trough IgG levels with overall infection incidence in patients with PIDD receiving IVIG and SCIG therapy.

Methods: Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, Central, and Scopus were searched for studies published from Jan 2010-June 2018, fulfilling the inclusion criteria. DerSimonian and Laird random-effects method were used to pool the difference of IgG trough levels. Random-effect meta-regression was used to evaluate infection incidence per 100 mg/dl IgG trough increase though IVIG and SCIG.

Results: Out of 24 observational studies included, 11 compared IgG trough levels among SCIG and IVIG (mean difference: 73.4 mg/dl, 95% CI: 31.67-119.19 mg/dl, I2 = 45%, p = 0.05), favoring weekly SCIG. For every 100 mg/dl increase in the trough, a linear trend of decreased incidence rates of infection was identified in SCIG patients (p = 0.03), but no similar trend was identified in trough levels vs. infection rates for patients receiving IVIG (p = 0.67).

Conclusion: In our study, weekly SCIG attained a higher trough level in comparison to monthly IVIG. Higher SCIG troughs were associated with lower infection rates, while IVIG troughs demonstrated no relationship.

Keywords: IVIG; IgG trough; PIDD; Primary immunodeficiency disease; SCIG.