Efficacy and quality of life assessment in the use of subcutaneous immunoglobulin treatment for children with primary immunodeficiency disorder

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 Jul;53(4):177-184. doi: 10.23822/EurAnnACI.1764-1489.179. Epub 2020 Nov 16.


Introduction. Most patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies need regular Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) or Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin (SCIG) treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the serum IgG trough levels, frequency of mild and severe infections, frequency and duration of hospitalization, duration of absence of school, and quality of life in patients switching their IVIG therapy to SCIG administration. Materials. Twenty-nine patients with immunodeficiency on regular IVIG treatment and who agreed to receive SCIG treatment were included. Seven patients discontinued treatment after the first SCIG administration. We collected data regarding serum IgG levels, annual numbers of infections, hospital admissions, and adverse events prior to and following SCIG initiation. PedsQL tests such as Scale Total Score (STS), Physical Health Total Score (PHTS), Psychosocial Health Total Score (PsyHTS), emotional functionality, social functionality, school/work problems score were calculated separately for all patients and their parents. Results. In twenty-two cases who were diagnosed as primary immunodeficiency, the most common indication for initiation of SCIG treatment was the long transfusion period of IVIG treatments and the difficulty of access to the hospital. No systemic side effects were noted except local redness, pain, and swelling on the injection site. The median IgG value was 588.9 mg/dl during IVIG treatment and 872 mg/dl one year after SCIG treatment. Annual frequency of infections and absence to school/work decreased significantly in the SCIG group while the annual number of hospitalizations and hospital stay time did not change significantly. There was a significant increase in the "quality of life" scores of the patients and their families. Conclusions. SCIG treatment provides ideal and protective immunoglobulin levels and offers the comfort of treatment in their home environment, thus increasing the patient's satisfaction and quality of life.

Keywords: Intravenous immunoglobulin; pediatric immunology; primary immunodeficiency; quality of life; subcutaneous immunoglobulin.