More MS news articles for June 1999

Immune globulin associated with kidney failure

Thursday June 24 5:52 PM ET

NEW YORK, Jun 24 (Reuters Health) -- People with certain immune system conditions who are treated with infusions of infection-fighting antibodies may be at risk for kidney failure, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

At least 88 cases of kidney failure occurred in the US between 1985 and 1998 after patients were treated with a product known as immune globulin intravenous (IGIV). While patients usually recovered in about 10 days, 13 patients died despite treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of IGIV for people with one of six conditions, including bone marrow transplant patients over 20, children with HIV-1 infections, and those with certain types of leukemia.
However, as many as 50 to 60 other conditions are commonly treated with IGIV, including multiple sclerosis, adult HIV-infection, and other types of leukemia.

IGIV consists of antibodies derived from pooled human plasma, which are stabilized with sugars or proteins, such as glucose, sucrose or albumin.

Most patients who became ill were older -- average age 60 -- and had other underlying conditions that increased their risk for kidney problems, such as diabetes or pre-existing kidney disease.

However, the CDC recommends that all patients being treated with IGIV be closely monitored for kidney problems during and after infusion of the antibodies, with particular attention paid to those over 65, those with complicating conditions, or those taking other drugs that may affect the kidneys.

"In addition, IGIV should be used judiciously and alternatives used when appropriate because of recent shortages," according to the CDC report.

SOURCE: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1999;48:518-521.