INTRODUCTION: Immunoadsorption (IA) is increasingly used instead of plasma exchange due to lower risk of side effects and a higher selectivity. As a consequence of the reduction of immunoglobulins (Ig), the rate of infectious complications might increase in those patients. We therefore aimed to investigate the infection rate following IA without intravenous IG (IVIG) substitution in our apheresis center, where patients do not receive IVIG on a regular basis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the IA treatments performed between 2010 and 2015 without IVIG substitution and collected data on patient age, diagnosis, number of IA treatments, serum levels of Ig, total protein, albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP) and infectious complications that occurred within 2 months after the IA treatment cycle.
RESULTS: A total number of 52 patients (27 females) received at least 5 IA sessions using the following adsorbers: TheraSorb™-Ig (n = 3), TheraSorb™-Ig flex (n = 44), TheraSorb™ Ig pro (n = 1) and TheraSorb™-IgE (n = 5). The median number of treatment sessions was 8.8 [range 5-16], the median IgG reduction was 82 [11-99] %. Serum albumin was decreased by 8%. The median CRP levels remained normal until the end of therapy and within 2 months after that (3.10 and 4.30 mg/L respectively). Only 4 patients had infections (7.7%). Three of them received additional immunosuppressive therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Immunoadsorption leads to a significant reduction of IgG. CRP as inflammatory marker is not affected. Even without substitution of IVIG the complication rate directly linked with IA is low and questionable.