Efficacy and safety of intravenous immunoglobulins for the treatment of viral encephalitis: a systematic literature review

Department of Neurology 1, Kepler University Hospital, Johannes Kepler University, Wagner-Jauregg-Weg 15, 4020, Linz, Austria. Judith.Wagner@kepleruniklinikum.at. Department of Neurology 1, Kepler University Hospital, Johannes Kepler University, Wagner-Jauregg-Weg 15, 4020, Linz, Austria.

Journal of neurology. 2021
Abstract
BACKGROUND For most viral encephalitides, therapy is merely supportive. Intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) have been used as a prophylactic and therapeutic approach. We conduct a systematic review on the safety and efficacy of IVIG in viral encephalitis. METHODS We conducted a systematic review assessing PubMed, Cochrane Database, Biosis Previews and the ClinicalTrials.gov website to identify all reports on patients with viral encephalitis treated with IVIG as of May 31, 2019. The main outcomes assessed were therapeutic efficacy and safety. For an increased homogeneity of the population, atypical viral infections were excluded, as were reports on prophylactic IVIG use, intrathecal application of immunoglobulins, or use of antibody-enriched IVIG-preparations. Data were extracted from published studies. Descriptive statistics were used. RESULTS We included a total of 44 studies (39 case reports). The case reports cover a total of 53 patients. Our search retrieved two prospective and three retrospective studies. These show heterogeneous results as to the efficacy of IVIG therapy. Only one study reports a significant association between IVIG-use and death (odds ratio 0.032; 95% confidence interval 0.0033-0.3024; p = 0.0027). None of the studies report significant differences in the number of serious adverse events. CONCLUSION Data on the efficacy of IVIG-therapy is heterogeneous. While it seems generally safe, evident superiority compared to supportive treatment has not been demonstrated so far. Future trials should also investigate the optimal dosing and timing of IVIG and their benefit in the immunosuppressed.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine