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Intravenous immunoglobulin is ineffective in the treatment of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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By Vollmer-Conna U, Hickie I, Hadzi-Pavlovic D, Tymms K, Wakefield D, Dwyer J, Lloyd A • www.ProHealth.com • July 10, 1997


PURPOSE: To determine whether the reported therapeutic benefit
of intravenous immunoglobulin in patients with chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS) is dose dependent.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Ninety-nine adult patients, who fulfilled diagnostic criteria
for CFS, participated in this double-blind, randomized, and
placebo-controlled trial. Patients received intravenous
infusions with either a placebo solution (1% albumin) or one
of three doses of immunoglobulin (0.5, 1, or 2 g/kg) on a
monthly basis for 3 months, followed by a treatment-free
follow-up period of 3 months. Outcome was assessed by changes
in a series of self-reported measures (quality-of-life visual
analog scales, standardized diaries of daily activities, the
profile of mood states questionnaire) and the Karnofsky
performance scale. Cell-mediated immunity was evaluated by
T-cell subset analysis and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH)
skin testing.
RESULTS: No dose of intravenous immunoglobulin
was associated with a specific therapeutic benefit. Adverse
reactions, typically constitutional symptoms, were reported by
70% to 80% of patients, with no relationship to immunoglobulin
treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous immunoglobulin cannot be
recommended as a therapy for the treatment of CFS. A better
understanding of the pathophysiology of this disorder is
needed before effective treatment can be developed.




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