School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands. Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Hospital Centre Zagreb, Unit for Clinical Pharmacology, Zagreb, Croatia.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) therapy has been suggested as a potential treatment option for hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the potential impact of IVIg on mortality and length of hospitalisation in adult COVID-19 patients. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and medRxiv were searched in the week of 20.12.2021 for English language, prospective
trials, and retrospective studies with control groups, reporting on the use of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in adult hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Exclusion criteria were: studies evaluating the use of IVIg in paediatric COVID-19 cases, trials using convalescent anti-SARS-CoV-2 plasma or immunoglobulins derived from convalescent anti-SARS-CoV-2 plasma. A random effects meta-analysis with subgroup analyses regarding study design and patient disease severity according to WHO criteria was also performed. A total of 13 studies were included, of which 6 were prospective, on a total of 2313 (IVIg = 1104, control = 1209) patient outcomes. Meta-analysis results indicated that IVIg therapy had no statistically significant effect on mortality (RR 0.91 [0.59; 1.39], p = 0.65, I(2) = 69% [46%; 83%]) or length of hospital stay (MD 0.51 [-2.80; 3.81], p = 0.76, I(2) = 96% [94%; 98%]). Subgroup analyses indicated no statistically significant impact on either outcome, but prospective studies' results suggested that IVIg may increase the length of hospitalisation in the severe COVID-19 patient group (MD 2.66 [1.43; 3.90], p < 0.01, I(2) = 0% [0%; >90%]). The results of this meta-analysis do not support use of IVIg in hospitalised adult COVID-19 patients.