Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a blood product prepared from the serum of between 1000 and 15 000 donors per batch. It is the treatment of choice for patients with antibody deficiencies. For this indication, IVIG is used at a ‘replacement dose’ of 200–400 mg/kg body weight, given approximately 3-weekly. In contrast, ‘high dose’ IVIG (hdIVIG), given most frequently at 2 g/kg/month, is used as an ‘immunomodulatory’ agent in an increasing number of immune and inflammatory disorders.
The clinical specialities using the largest amounts of IVIG are neurology, haematology, immunology, nephrology, rheumatology and dermatology.