Background: The administration of low-dose intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIgG) (5 g/day for 3 days; approximate total 0.3 g/kg) is widely used as an adjunctive treatment for patients with sepsis in Japan, but its efficacy in the reduction of mortality has not been evaluated. We investigated whether the administration of low-dose IVIgG is associated with clinically important outcomes including intensive care unit (ICU) and in-hospital mortality. Methods: This is a post-hoc subgroup analysis of data from a retrospective cohort study, the Japan Septic Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (JSEPTIC DIC) study. The JSEPTIC DIC study was conducted in 42 ICUs in 40 institutions throughout Japan, and it investigated associations between sepsis-related coagulopathy, anticoagulation therapies, and clinical outcomes of 3195 adult patients with sepsis and septic shock admitted to ICUs from January 2011 through December 2013. To investigate associations between low-dose IVIgG administration and mortalities, propensity score-based matching analysis was used. Results: IVIgG was administered to 960 patients (30.8%). Patients who received IVIgG were more severely ill than those who did not (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score 24.2 ± 8.8 vs 22.6 ± 8.7, p < 0.001). They had higher ICU mortality (22.8% vs 17.4%, p < 0.001), but similar in-hospital mortality (34.4% vs 31.0%, p = 0.066). In propensity score-matched analysis, 653 pairs were created. Both ICU mortality and in-hospital mortality were similar between the two groups (21.0% vs 18.1%, p = 0.185, and 32.9% vs 28.6%, p = 0.093, respectively) using generalized estimating equations fitted with logistic regression models adjusted for other therapeutic interventions. The administration of IVIgG was not associated with ICU or in-hospital mortality (odds ratio (OR) 0.883; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.655-1.192, p = 0.417, and OR 0.957, 95% CI, 0.724-1.265, p = 0.758, respectively). Conclusions: In this analysis of a large cohort of patients with sepsis and septic shock, the administration of low-dose IVIgG as an adjunctive therapy was not associated with a decrease in ICU or in-hospital mortality. Trial registration: University Hospital Medical Information Network Individual Clinical Trials Registry, UMIN-CTR000012543. Registered on 10 December 2013.
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