REVIEW
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Intravenous immunoglobulin: a review.

Intramuscular immunoglobulin products developed for the prophylaxis of viral diseases and used in replacement therapy in immunodeficiency diseases have been superseded by products suitable for intravenous administration. Modified and intact immunoglobulin preparations are available for therapeutic use; only the intact products express full Fc-mediated function and the biological half-life of IgG (3-4 weeks). While adverse reactions to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) do occur, they are infrequent. Rare clusters of non-A, non-B hepatitis after the use of some lots of IVIG have been reported. Transmission of HIV has never been documented. The administration of IVIG in replacement therapy in primary immunodeficiency syndromes and in secondary immunodeficiencies, as well as for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, is discussed, and reports of the use of IVIG for immune modulation in autoimmune and immune-complex disease are summarized.

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