Recent reports using historical controls or registry cohorts suggest, respectively, either an increase in the mortality or a decrease in the incidence of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) with the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (i.v.Ig) after bone marrow transplantation. These divergent results prompted us to conduct a retrospective analysis of two randomized clinical trials conducted at our center to determine the
effect of i.v.Ig infusions on the development and severity of VOD. Patients were randomized to receive (n=318) or not to receive (n=315) i.v.Ig prophylaxis after human leukocyte antigen-identical sibling (n=414), mismatched or unrelated (n=178), or autologous or syngeneic (n=41) marrow transplantation. To determine the relationship of i.v.Ig to the development and severity of VOD, a single observer reviewed data displays created for each patient for grading VOD without knowledge of patient i.v.Ig use. In this analysis, VOD was defined as hyperbilirubinemia > or =2.0 mg/dL before day 20 and abrupt weight gain > or =2% before day 14 posttransplant in the absence of other causes of liver disease. Hepatic VOD developed in 235 (37%) of the 633 randomized patients. No evidence for VOD was found in 230 (36%) patients. The remaining 168 (27%) patients were classified as having liver disease of uncertain etiology. Hepatic VOD was judged to be severe in 63 (10%) and mild or moderate in 172 (27%) patients. The number of patients developing any VOD or severe VOD was similar between those randomized to i.v.Ig prophylaxis and untreated controls (115 vs. 120 and 32 vs. 31, respectively). Logistic regression models identified several covariates as significant (p < 0.01) factors associated with the development of severe VOD. Increased risk occurred with elevated pretransplant serum aspartate aminotransferase (odds ratio [OR] = 2.64) and earlier year of transplant (OR = 3.73); decreased risk occurred with autologous or twin donors (OR = 0.09) and acute myeloid leukemia (OR = 0.39). The development of any VOD was associated with an elevated pretransplant alkaline phosphatase (OR = 4.1), pretransplant use of vancomycin (OR = 1.6) or amphotericin (OR = 3.0), posttransplant use of cyclosporine (OR = 2.5), older patient age (OR = 1.03), and obesity (OR = 0.78). We concluded from the controlled trials of 633 patients that the administration of i.v.Ig did not influence the development or severity of VOD after bone marrow transplantation.