EFFECT OF INTRAVENOUS IMMUNOGLOBULIN IN PATIENTS WITH POST-POLIO SYNDROME – AN UNCONTROLLED PILOT STUDY
Objective: To analyse changes in muscle strength, physical performance and quality of life during intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment in patients with post-polio syndrome. Design: Open clinical trial. Patients: A total of 14 patients (6 women, 8 men; mean age 57 years, range 43–67 years) were included in the study. Intervention: Treatment with 90 g IVIg (30 g daily for 3 days). Main outcome: Muscle strength, measured with dynamic dynamometry, muscle function, by means of performing the 6-minute walk test, and quality of life, analysed by means of the SF-36 questionnaire, were performed before and after treatment. Results: For quality of life there was a statistically significant improvement for all but one of the 8 multi-item scales of SF-36 when comparing data before and after treatment with IVIg. The multi-item scale most improved was Vitality. There was no significant increase in muscle strength and physical performance. Conclusion: Data indicate that IVIg may have a clinically relevant effect, with an improvement in quality of life. The effect may be due to a decrease in an inflammatory process in the central nervous system, which earlier has been reported in patients with past-polio syndrome after IVIg treatment. Since a possible placebo effect cannot be ruled out, a randomized controlled study is needed.
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