Effects of high-dose of intravenous immunoglobulin and antibiotics on survival for severe sepsis undergoing surgery

Alejandro Rodríguez, Jordi Rello, Jorge Neira, Bernardo Maskin, Daniel Ceraso, Leonardo Vasta, Fernando Palizas
Shock 2005, 23 (4): 298-304
The objective of this study was to assess the impact on outcome of adjuvant therapy (high-dose of immunoglobulin [Ig] M-enriched intravenous Ig, IVIG) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients who underwent surgery by abdominal sepsis. This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled study set in the medical/surgical ICUs of seven teaching hospitals. Patients with severe sepsis and septic shock of intra-abdominal origin admitted to the ICU within 24 h after the onset of symptoms were included in the study. Polyvalent IgM-enriched Ig (Pentaglobin; IVIG group) at a dosage of 7 mL/kg/day for 5 days or an equal amount of 5% human albumin (control group) was randomized. Fifty-six patients were enrolled. The overall mortality rate was 37.5.%. Twenty patients had shock and 36 had severe sepsis (the mortality rate was 55.0% and 25.0%, respectively). In the intent-to-treat analysis, the mortality rate was reduced from 48.1% in patients treated with antibiotic (ATB) plus albumin to 27.5% (P = 0.06) for patients with ATB plus IVIG. The organ failure score (1.0 +/- 0.6 vs. 1.2 +/- 0.9), organ dysfunction score (1.7 +/- 1.1 vs. 1.8 +/- 1.0), and reoperation rate (17.2% vs. 29.6%) were not different between IVIG and control groups, respectively. Eight patients (14.3%) received inappropriate ATB initial therapy (IAT), and seven died (87.5%). IAT was the only variable independently associated with death (odds ratio, 19.4) in a logistic regression model. We conclude that IVIG administration, when used in combination with adequate antibiotics, improved the survival of surgical ICU patients with intra-abdominal sepsis. The initial choice of antibiotic has a dramatic impact on outcome.

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