Intravenous immunoglobulin for treatment of recurrent pregnancy loss.

C B Coulam
L Krysa
J J Stern
M Bustillo


PROBLEM: Efficacy of immunotherapy for treatment of recurrent spontaneous abortion (SA) has been controversial. The low treatment effect of white blood cell immunization lead to investigations of alternative treatments including intravenous (i.v.) immunoglobulin (Ig). To evaluate the efficacy of IVIg for treatment of recurrent SA, a prospective, randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial was performed.

METHODS: Ninety-five women experiencing two or more consecutive spontaneous abortions, with no known cause were randomized and received either IVIg 500 mg/kg/month or placebo (albumin).

RESULTS: Of 95 women participating in the study, 47 received IVIg and 48 received placebo. Medication was discontinued in 34 women who failed to conceive within four cycles. The remaining 61 women achieved pregnancy. Pregnancy outcomes included 29 deliveries and 32 recurrent SA. Among women delivering live births 18 (62%) received IVIg and 11 (38%) received placebo. By contrast, 21 (66%) women experiencing recurrent SAs received placebo and 11 (34%) received IVIg. Among 61 women who conceived, 29 received IVIg and 32 received placebo. Of the 29 women who conceived and received IVIg, 18 (62%) delivered live births and 11 (38%) experienced recurrent SA. Of 32 women who conceived and received placebo 11 (34%) delivered live births and 21 (66%) had recurrent SA. The difference in live birth rates between women receiving IVIg and placebo was significant (P = 0.04, odds ratio 3.1).

CONCLUSION: IVIg is effective in enhancing the percentage of live births among women experiencing unexplained recurrent SA.