The American Association of Neuromuscular & and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) recently endorsed the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) guideline on IVIg.
IVIg is a type of immunotherapy that fights the misdirected immune system. It is not well understood exactly how IVIg works, but it likely regulates an overactive immune system. Immune globulin is a protein in human blood that links itself with antibodies or other substances directed at the nerve.
According to the guideline, strong evidence shows that IVIg effectively treats Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system, causing tingling and weakness in the arms and legs. The evidence shows that IVIg works as well as the GBS treatment called plasma exchange.
Strong evidence also shows that long-term use of IVIg can help treat CIDP, which is the chronic counterpart of GBS that affects nerves in the arms, legs, and other parts of the body. The guideline also noted that IVIg is effective in helping to treat moderate to severe forms of myasthenia gravis and a rare condition known as multifocal motor neuropathy. It also may be helpful in treating neuromuscular disorders known as nonresponsive dermatomyositis and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.
AANEM Director of Health Policy Catherine French said, “This guideline will help ensure the best outcomes of medical treatment and will be of great value to our members.”
The guideline is published in the March 27, 2012, print issue of Neurology
®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. A copy of the guideline will be available on the AANEM website at www.aanem.org/Practice/Practice-Management/Practice-Guidelines.aspx