Objective: In order to study the effect of high-dose, intravenous immunoglobulin (i.v.IG) in severe childhood asthma, we investigated 31 children and adolescents (15 girls, 16 boys) aged 9-22 years (median age of 14 years) suffering from severe bronchial asthma.
Methods: In a prospective, double-blind fashion, patients received either four doses of i.v.IG (1 g/kg body weight) or identical doses of intravenous human serum albumin. The first two doses were given on two consecutive days, followed by two further doses at 4 week intervals.
Results: There was no statistical difference in the actively treated group when compared with the placebo group in symptom-score, bronchial hyperreactivity or peak-flow-variability. There was a trend for fewer total days of upper respiratory tract infections and also symptom-scores in the i.v.IG group but these did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusion: Our data indicate that treatment with i.v.IG in asthmatic children did not show a significant reduction in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections, but the patients who did have upper respiratory infections in the i.v.IG-group appear to have less protracted infections. Severity and bronchial hyperreactivity do not seem to be affected by the treatment as performed in our study.