The importance of intravenous immunoglobulin treatment in critically ill patients with necrotizing soft tissue infection: a retrospective cohort study

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Infect Dis. 2022 Feb 21;22(1):168. doi: 10.1186/s12879-022-07135-6.


BACKGROUND: Necrotizing soft-tissue infections are infections with high mortality. The use of immunoglobulins within a combination therapy including broad-spectrum antibiotics has been debated. We assessed potential benefits of immunoglobulins and hypothesized that they were associated with a treatment benefit in a high-resource setting.

METHODS: Patients with necrotizing soft-tissue infection hospitalized in the tertiary intensive care unit of the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, between 2008 and 2020 were included retrospectively. The association between immunoglobulin administration and in-hospital survival, intensive care unit length of stay, the incidences of acute renal failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome and septic shock were analyzed.

RESULTS: After adjustment for confounders, no difference for in-hospital survival (hazard ratio 2.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.24-20.20, p = 0.5), intensive care unit length of stay (subhazard ratio [SHR] 0.90, CI 0.41-1.98, p = 0.8) and the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (SHR 1.2, CI 0.36-4.03, p = 0.77) was observed in patients with or without immunoglobulin treatment. The Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, the risk of developing acute renal failure (SHR 2.86, CI 1.33-6.15, p = 0.01) and septic shock (SHR 1.86, CI 1.02-3.40, p = 0.04) was higher in patients treated with immunoglobulins, possibly reflecting a higher disease severity beyond measured confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: No clear evidence for a benefit of immunoglobulins in our cohort with consistent antibiotic use was found. Patients receiving immunoglobulins appeared more severely ill. Complementary to high treatment standards and appropriate antibiotics including beta lactams and protein synthesis inhibitors, immunoglobulins should be administered on a case-to-case basis, at least while more evidence from larger randomized controlled trials is missing.

PMID:35189821 | DOI:10.1186/s12879-022-07135-6

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