Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) has been used since the 1970s for the treatment of a variety of different rheumatologic and infectious diseases. While the therapeutic efficacy of IVIG has been definitively demonstrated in many different disorders, its mechanism(s) of action have remained poorly explained. This is complicated, in part by the difference in pathophysiology of the many diseases it has been used in the treatment of. Regardless of the types of diseases, understanding why transfusing pooled donor antibodies to unscreened patients fails to elicit a detrimental immunologic response, let alone benefit these patients, needs explanation. This review aims to explain how IVIG works by reviewing the medical literature and the relevant basic immunology involved.
Keywords: IVIG, immunology, rheumatic, mechanism, autoimmunity, immunoglobulin
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