High-dose Intravenous Immunoglobulin for Severe Drug Reactions: Efficacy in Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
Elena Campione, Georgiana Clare Marulli, Anna Maria Carrozzo, Maria Sole Chimenti, Antonio Costanzo and Luca Bianchi
High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin has been proposed as an alernative treatment for several immuno-mediated inflammatory skin diseases, usually at a dosage of 1-2 g/kg. We describe the treatment of 10 patients affected by toxic epidermal necrolysis using 400mg/kg per day on 5 consecutive days - a schedule that is lower than previously reported schedules. According to the SCORTEN, the earlier predicted mortality rate was 35%. After high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, a mortality rate of 10% and a survival rate of 90% were reached. In particular, nine patients showed a dramatic improvement already after one course of infusion started at an early stage of the disease. It is our experience, and that of others, that high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin can be considered the drug of first choice for toxic epidermal necrolysis, one of the most severe life-threatening dermatological conditions, and a valid alternative therapy for different long-standing chronic dermatological diseases. This therapy can also be effective in avoiding high steroid dosages and consequently steroid-related or immunosuppressive-related side effects. It is therefore reasonable to propose high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin treatment as a valuable therapeutic tool for dermatologists.