What was this study about?
Severe infection (severe sepsis) can lead to organ failure (e.g. kidney failure) and can be life-threatening. Immunoglobulins are proteins produced by the immune system (the body’s defence system) that help the body to fight infection. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a blood product that combines immunoglobulins from several donors and may be useful for treating patients with a severe infection.
The purpose of this study was to find out how IVIG is currently used by doctors for treating patients with a severe infection and if a large clinical trial should be carried out to investigate whether IVIG improves outcome in these patients and is cost-effective.
This study used data from the Case Mix Programme.
What did the study find?
The results showed that there is value for money in conducting further research in this area. However, before carrying out a large clinical trial, further research needs to be carried out to understand better how IVIG works. This would also allow a better understanding of the cost-effectiveness of this treatment. Our recommendations are that future research should focus on filling the knowledge gaps about IVIG to help researchers plan a future clinical trial.
Who led the study?
Professor Kathy Rowan, ICNARC
The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme (Project: 08/70/01)