Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Number of cardiovascular risk factors could determine safety of intravenous gammaglobulin treatment

09.03.2009
New research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine identifies the presence of cardiovascular risk factors as an indicator of how likely it is that elderly, hospitalized patients who receive intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment will have a stroke or heart attack.

An advance copy of the study appears online this week in the Journal of Neurology, the official publication of the European Neurological Society. It is scheduled to appear in a future print issue.

Prior to this study, physicians knew that administering intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIg, could cause stroke or heart attack, but it was unclear when those serious side effects occurred.

"Stroke or heart attack has always been considered a fairly rare complication, but it's a catastrophic one," said James B. Caress, M.D., an associate professor of neurology and the study's lead researcher. Before this study, it was difficult for doctors to counsel patients about their risk for stroke or heart attack from IVIg treatment because previous reports could not identify which patients were at the highest risk, he added.

IVIg – used in patients with autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, and with immunodeficiencies – is a drug made from human blood components. In patients who have an autoimmune disease, in which the body forms antibodies that attack its own tissues, IVIg can suppress the detrimental effects of those antibodies. In patients with advanced cancer, where the immune system is damaged from the tumor or chemotherapy, the drug boosts the immune system to stave off infections.

For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 19 patients who had a stroke or heart attack after receiving IVIg. They also reviewed the records of 38 patients who were the same ages as those 19 patients, but who received IVIg treatment and did not have a stroke or heart attack. The patients, who had an average age of 71 years, received the treatment between August 1998 and May 2004. The researchers compared information about the two groups, including gender and race, the reason the patients received IVIg treatment, dosage, previous exposure to the drug, and the patients' risk factors for stroke and heart attack.

Researchers found that no single cardiovascular risk factor increased the chance of having a stroke or heart attack after IVIg treatment. However, the likelihood of having such an event appeared to increase slightly when the patient had two or more risk factors and, when four or more risk factors were present, patients were 10 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke within two weeks of receiving IVIg, according to the study's findings.

Cardiovascular risk factors include coronary artery disease, cigarette use, high blood pressure, previous stroke or arterial thrombosis, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Neither the race nor gender of the patient affected the risk of stroke or heart attack, the study showed.

In 2003, Caress and a team of Wake Forest researchers published a paper in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, reporting the experiences of 16 patients who suffered a stroke during or immediately after IVIg infusions.

The latest study expands on that report.

"Prior to 2003, other investigators had reported stroke and heart attack due to IVIg, but these complications were believed to be extremely rare," Caress said. "Now we know that having just one or two cardiovascular risk factors does not result in a major increase in risk for heart attack or stroke after IVIg treatment. But if the patient has three or four of these risk factors, the chance of having a serious complication is substantially higher."

Since 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required that IVIg manufacturers add a statement about the risk of stroke and heart attack to their products, so most physicians are now aware of the uncommon complication. It is still unclear, however, what causes the dangerous side effects, Caress said.

Still, the current study gives physicians and patients some direction when considering IVIg treatment, he added.

"I feel good about recommending the treatment, even to older patients, unless they have several cardiovascular risk factors," Caress said.

Jessica Guenzel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>