High-dose intravenous immune globulin therapy for hyperbilirubinemia caused by Rh hemolytic disease

Jochen Rübo, Klaus Albrecht, Peter Lasch, Edgar Laufkötter, Jekabs Leititis, Daruk Marsan, Birgit Niemeyer, Jochen Roesler, Claudia Roll, Bernd Roth, Hans Burckhard von Stockhausen, Brigitte Widemann, Volker Wahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We conducted a multicenter controlled trial to test the hypothesis that high-dose intravenous immune globulin (HDivlG) therapy can modulate bilirubin production and reduce the frequency of exchange transfusions in newborn infants with Rh hemolytic disease. Thirty-four patients with Rh incompatibility proved by positive direct antiglobulin test (Coombs test) results were randomly assigned to receive conventional treatment including phototherapy, with or without additional HDivlG therapy at 500 mg/kg given for a 2-hour period as soon as the diagnosis was established. Exchange transfusions were performed if serum bilirubin concentrations exceeded the modified curves of Polácek by more than 2 mg/dl. Two patients were excluded because of protocol violations. The results In 32 infants were analyzed. In the HDivlG group, 2 (12.5%) of 16 children required exchange transfusions, whereas it became necessary in 11 (69%) of 16 children in the control group (p<0.005). Bilirubin levels in the HDivlG group were lower despite reduced frequency of exchange transfusions. No side effects of HDivlG treatment were observed. We conclude that HDivlG therapy by a yet unknown mechanism reduces serum bilirubin levels and the need for blood exchange transfusions in children with Rh hemolytic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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