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A pilot study of quality of life, mood, sleepiness and fatigue in patients with primary humoral immunodeficiency transitioning to subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy

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Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology201410(Suppl 2):A37

Published: 18 December 2014


  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency
  • Agammaglobulinemia
  • Nighttime Sleep
  • IVIG Infusion


Immunoglobulin replacement therapy is standard of care for patients with primary humoral immunodeficiency [1]. Compared with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) offers comparable efficacy, lower costs and reduced systemic reactions [2, 3]. However, little is known about effects on quality of life when patients transition from IVIG to SCIG. It was our objective to assess changes in quality of life, mood, sleepiness and fatigue in patients transitioning from IVIG to SCIG.


Adult patients with common variable immunodeficiency or X-linked agammaglobulinemia transitioning from IVIG to SCIG were invited to participate in this prospective, open-label, pilot study. At least one set of Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), Profile of Mood States (POMS), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and nighttime sleep questionnaires was administered prior to the final IVIG infusion. These were repeated monthly for 3 months following the transition. Magnitude of change was estimated between IVIG trough and final SCIG steady-state data. Statistical significance was determined using linear mixed models for repeated measures with Kenward-Rogers correction.


Twenty-seven patients were included in the analysis. Two of eight SF-36 quality of life domains showed significant improvement: role limitations due to physical health (p = 0.01) and emotional problems (p = 0.04). Two of six POMS mood subscales significantly improved: depression (p = 0.03) and anger (p = 0.04). One of six POMS mood subscales (tension, p = 0.08) and POMS total mood disturbance scores (p = 0.09) trended towards improvement. No significant changes were noted in ESS or nighttime sleepiness scores.


Patients transitioning from IVIG to SCIG for treatment of primary antibody immunodeficiency showed significant improvement in several quality of life and mood subscales. A larger study verifying these findings could encourage patients to switch to SCIG self-administration, producing quality of life benefits while decreasing health care costs.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy & Immunology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, Canada
Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


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© Pourshahnazari et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

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