Suppression of serum immunoglobulin G for periods ranging from days to weeks following thermal injury may enhance the risk of infection in burn patients. In an initial trial, we attempted to determine whether intravenous pulses of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) will establish and maintain normal serum IgG concentrations in this interval. The levels of endogeneous serum IgG in eight control patients, mean total burn size 45 percent body surface area (no IgG infusions), were measured by radial immunodiffusion on various postburn days. Commercially available reduced alkylated IgG (5 percent Gamimune, Cutter Biological, Berkeley, California) was infused in doses of 500 mg/kg twice per week in four patients (total burn size 32 percent) and once per week in five patients (total burn size 47 percent), beginning during the first postburn week. Circulating IgG was measured prior to each infusion and at three postinfusion times: (1) 15 minutes (peak), (2) one day, and (3) either day 3, 4, or 6. Surgery or blood transfusions prior to one of these time points invalidated kinetic analysis of some infusions. Exponential two-point decay constants for total serum IgG after each of 24 infusions were calculated separately for early (day 0-1) and later (day 1-3 or 1-4) postinfusion intervals and assessed by stepwise regression analysis to determine sources of variation in decay. Early decay was seen to be faster with larger burn size after accounting for variation of decay with preinfusion and peak IgG values. Later decay was not related to burn size. Maltose, a constituent of the IgG preparation, was detectable in serum for only four to eight hours after each infusion and may have contributed to a 20 percent increase in total serum glucose between four and eight hours postinfusion. Mean serum IgG in patients given infusions twice weekly was in the normal range after one infusion, about a week earlier than in untreated patients. Such infusions maintained normal IgG levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas