The safety and effectiveness of intravenously administered gammaglobulin therapy for prophylaxis of infection was evaluated in 133 high-risk neonates. The infants were stratified into two groups: Infants with birth weight ≤1500 g and gestational age ≤34 weeks, and infants with birth weight >1500 g and receiving intensive care and assisted ventilation. Forty-three infants in group 1 and 25 in group 2 were given gammaglobulin at a dose of 0.5 g/kg/wk, for 1 month in group 1 and during intensive care in group 2. Forty infants in group 1 and 25 in group 2 served as controls. Serum total IgG and group B streptococcus-, Escherichia coll-, and CMV-specific IgG levels similar to those in adult controls were observed in the treated infants 2 hours after gammaglobulin administration. In the treated infants in group 1, the incidence of infection was 51%, and of septicemia 5%; in the controls the incidence of infection was 77% (P1500 g receiving intensive care and assisted ventilation, no significant differences were observed in the incidence of infection or septicemia in treated and control infants. No side effects were observed after intravenous gammaglobulin administration. These data show that intravenously administered gammaglobulin is both safe and effective for prophylaxis of infection in preterm very low birth weight infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health