Several brands of IVIG have been approved by the Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA) (see table in Appendix). There is a lack of reliable evidence that any one brand of IVIG is more effective than other brands. However, immune globulin products may differ from each other in ways that may be important in a particular patient. Different manufacturers then use various combinations of precipitation and/or chromatography steps to obtain a final preparation that consists of greater than 95 % IgG in all currently available products. The various manufacturers also use different final purification steps and stabilizers to obtain their final products, which may then vary in storage requirement and shelf life. In several currently available products, stabilizers include sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, or maltose. Other products contain amino acids such as glycine and proline. The sodium content of different products also varies.
The purpose of this prospective randomized trial was to evaluate an immunosuppressive protocol involving reduced maintenance and antirejection steroid dosages in cadaver renal transplantation. The study comprises 23 first cadaver graft recipients who experienced an acute rejection episode. All patients received an initial 14-day course of antilymphocyte globulin (ALG) and azathioprine to mg/kg/day. In 11 patients (group 1), a low maintenance dose of prednisone (30 mg/day) was administered and first rejection episodes were treated with a second 10-day course of ALG. The remaining 12 patients (group 2) received high maintenance doses of prednisone (2 mg/kg/day with tapering) and intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) for first rejection episodes. Subsequent rejections in both groups were treated with high doses of steroids. In group 1, all first rejection episodes were reversed with ALG alone, 6 patients experienced no subsequent rejection, and 10 patients currently have a functioning graft. In Group 2, the first rejection episode was reversed with IMVP alone in 10 patients; in two patients in whom IVMP therapy was unsuccessful, ALG was then administered, and subsequent rejection reversal was effected. In group 2, 4 patients experienced no subsequent rejection, and 9 patients currently have a functioning graft. Patients in group 1 received significantly lower (P less than .01) cumulative steroid doses in the first six months following transplantation, which resulted in a reduced number of major infections, as compared with patients in group 2. We conclude that the steroid-sparing regimen of low maintenance prednisone and ALG for first rejection is as effective immunologically as the established high steroid protocol.
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