Join Us | Latest Articles | Contact

Journal Home

Editorial Board

Recent Articles

Submit to this journal

Special Issues

Current issue

International Journal of Immunology and Immunotherapy

DOI: 10.23937/2378-3672/1410016

Early Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin for X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia

Alfredo Tagarro*

Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofía, San Sebastián de los Reyes Madrid, Spain

*Corresponding author: Alfredo Tagarro, Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofía, Europa, s/n28702, San Sebastián de los Reyes Madrid, Spain, Tel: +34 606194888, E-mail:
Int J Immunol Immunother, IJII-3-016, (Volume 3, Issue 1), Case Report; ISSN: 2378-3672
Received: October 31, 2015 | Accepted: January 14, 2016 | Published: January 16, 2016
Citation: Tagarro A (2016) Early Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin for X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia. Int J Immunol Immunother 3:016. 10.23937/2378-3672/1410016
Copyright: © 2016 Tagarro A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Introduction: Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) utilization is limited in Spain. Our aim was to describe our experience with SCIG from the diagnosis in a patient with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA).

Case Presentation: A recently diagnosed 6-year-old child with XLA was started on SCIG. A loading dose of 6 g, in three consecutive days (2 g/day) was prescribed. Initially, the aim was trough serum IgG over 500 mg/dL. Nevertheless, 15 months later, IgG levels fell below 500 mg/dL, and some infections occurred. A new aim of IgG over 700 mg/dLwas established, after current recommendations. Dose was increased to 3 g every 7 days. IgG levels rose over 700 mg/dL, and infections disappeared. Parental evaluation of quality of life is good. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: SCIG is a valuable choice for treating XLA patients, even from the very beginning.


Disease Bruton, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, Immunoglobulins, Immunodeficiency


X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) or Bruton agammaglobulinemia, is an inherited immunodeficiency disease caused by mutations in the gene BTK, that codes for Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK). In the absence of BTK, B lymphocytes do not differentiate or mature. Without mature B lymphocytes, antibody-producing plasma cells are also absent. Therefore, XLA is characterized by low levels of serum immunoglobulins and almost total or total absence of B lymphocytes and plasma cells.

The current management is the immunoglobulin replacement therapy (IRT). Traditionally, IRT has always been performed with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) every 2-4 weeks. Currently, subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) is also available. Utilization of SCIG it is still limited in Spain. Physicians are often unfamiliar with its use, and availability is limited at many hospitals. Generally, the use of SCIG is sequential, after a loading dose IVIG.

In this case report, we review the case of a school-age boy with XLA, who was successfully treated with SCIG from diagnosis.

Case Report

A 6-years old male was attended in May 2012 at the Pediatric Infectious Diseases clinics for recurrent infections (diarrhea and chronic suppurative otitis media). He was the first kid of 2 siblings. Her sister was a 4-year-old healthy girl. There was no antecedents of suspected or confirmed immunodeficiency in any part of the family tree. There were no deaths at an early age in grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins.

Upon suspicion of primary immunodeficiency with concurrent infections, immune study was requested. The study of immunoglobulins by turbidimetry showed the following results: IgG 458 mg/dL, IgA < 33 mg/dL (verified by nephelometry: high sensitivity IgA < 6 mg/dL) and IgM < 21 mg/dL. A mutation was found in the BTK gene (located in Xq22.1). Laboratory tests confirmed a profoundly diminished (15%) expression. B cell levels were 0.34% CD19 +. After deliberation with the parents, we decided to start on SCIG 20% (Hizentra®, 200mg/mL, CLS Behring, Marburg, Germany), by infusion pump. The initial goal was to keep IgG over 500 mg/dL, following recommendations [1]. An initial loading dose of 6 g (322 mg/kg) was administered over 3 consecutive days, at 2 grams daily (107 mg/kg/day). The first three doses were administered in the hospital daycare facility, without premedication. During these three days, the parents were trained in infusion technique. There were no complications. The following doses were administered at home, at a rate of 2 g every 7 days (107 mg/kg/week, 428 mg/month) (Figure 1). An analysis on day +10 showed that levels of IgG were 869 mg/dL. Infusion was changed to 2 g every 10 days (321 mg/month). The following +10 levels were 465 mg/dL, so we returned to 2 g every 7 days (428 gr/month).

Figure 1: Evolution of IgG levels and subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) along time.
⇩: Starting of SCIG treatment; : Infection episode; *: Day +10 through; : Day +7 through View Figure 1


In March 2014, persistent infections (1 perianal streptococcal infection, 2 giardiasis, 1 herpes zoster, 1 otitis) were recorded. Other, more recent publications were consulted suggesting that higher levels are more effective at preventing infections [2]. The dose was increased to 3 g (140 mg/kg/10 days, 420 mg/kg/month) every 10 days. In May 2014, the dose was increased to 3 g every 7 days (139 mg/kg/week, 558 mg/kg/month).

To date, the patient has had no further infections or cough. No systemic adverse effects were reported. The only adverse event was a transient local induration after infusions. The perceived quality of the parents and the patient's attitude is good.


The interest of the case lies in the beginning of the replacement therapy directly with SCIG, without intravenous loading dose. Also, the clinical outcome was better with higher levels of IgG. The tolerance to the treatment was good during the first 3 years of therapy.

Until recently, the only IRT for ALX in Spain was IVIG. In 2012, one paper described a series of 4 patients that were started on16% SCIG, but all patients received a loading dose of IGIV (400 and 600 mg/kg) before SCIG [3]. The practice of giving an intravenous infusion of IVIG for reaching higher levels more quickly is usual, but may not be necessary. IVIG has systemic side effects in < 6% of patients (versus < 3% with SCIG) and requires premedication in a significant proportion of patients. SCIG allows for more stable and physiological levels. The number of infections is inversely proportional to IgG levels [4]. From 2014, this patient was labeled with a new target levels over 700 mg/dL. Patient infections decreased in number and severity. A number of papers suggest that through levels are not necessary for the follow-up of patients on SCIG [4]. According these authors, the clinicians should have the absence of serious infections as a goal, rather than a serum IgG level threshold. The biological level might be different for each patient [5-8].

Relating costs, the cost of SCIG can be up to 25% less than the cost of IRT with IGIV [6].

In conclusion, IRT with SCIG since the very beginning of the treatment of XLA is safe. SCIG is an attractive option for managing patients requiring IRT.

  1. Maarschalk-Ellerbroek LJ, Hoepelman IM, Ellerbroek PM (2011) Immunoglobulin treatment in primary antibody deficiency. Int J Antimicrob Agents 37: 396-404.

  2. Berger M (2011) Incidence of infection is inversely related to steady-state (trough) serum IgG level in studies of subcutaneous IgG in PIDD. J Clin Immunol 31: 924-926.

  3. GarcíaCasas P, González-Granado LI (2012) Experiencia con inmunoglobulinasubcutánea en inmunodeficiencias humorales. Acta Pediatr Esp 70: 385-391.

  4. Berger M Subcutaneous and intramuscular immune globulin therapy.

  5. Ballow M (2013) Optimizing immunoglobulin treatment for patients with primary immunodeficiency disease to prevent pneumonia and infection incidence: review of the current data. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 111: S2-S5.

  6. Orange JS, Grossman WJ, Navickis RJ, Wilkes MM (2010) Impact of trough IgG on pneumonia incidence in primary immunodeficiency: A meta-analysis of clinical studies. Clin Immunol 137: 21-30.

  7. Bonagura VR, Marchlewski R, Cox A, Rosenthal DW (2008) Biologic IgG level in primary immunodeficiency disease: the IgG level that protects against recurrent infection. J Allergy Clin Immunol 122: 210-212.

  8. Beaute J, Levy P, Millet V, Debre M, Dudoit Y, et al. (2010) Economic evaluation of immunoglobulin replacement in patients with primary antibody deficiencies. Clin Exp Immunol 160: 240-245.

Go to top

International Journal of Anesthetics and Anesthesiology (ISSN: 2377-4630)
International Journal of Blood Research and Disorders   (ISSN: 2469-5696)
International Journal of Brain Disorders and Treatment (ISSN: 2469-5866)
International Journal of Cancer and Clinical Research (ISSN: 2378-3419)
International Journal of Clinical Cardiology (ISSN: 2469-5696)
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Treatment (ISSN: 2469-584X)
Clinical Medical Reviews and Case Reports (ISSN: 2378-3656)
Journal of Dermatology Research and Therapy (ISSN: 2469-5750)
International Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Research (ISSN: 2377-3634)
Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention (ISSN: 2469-5793)
Journal of Genetics and Genome Research (ISSN: 2378-3648)
Journal of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (ISSN: 2469-5858)
International Journal of Immunology and Immunotherapy (ISSN: 2378-3672)
International Journal of Medical Nano Research (ISSN: 2378-3664)
International Journal of Neurology and Neurotherapy (ISSN: 2378-3001)
International Archives of Nursing and Health Care (ISSN: 2469-5823)
International Journal of Ophthalmology and Clinical Research (ISSN: 2378-346X)
International Journal of Oral and Dental Health (ISSN: 2469-5734)
International Journal of Pathology and Clinical Research (ISSN: 2469-5807)
International Journal of Pediatric Research (ISSN: 2469-5769)
International Journal of Respiratory and Pulmonary Medicine (ISSN: 2378-3516)
Journal of Rheumatic Diseases and Treatment (ISSN: 2469-5726)
International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine (ISSN: 2469-5718)
International Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy (ISSN: 2469-570X)
International Journal of Surgery Research and Practice (ISSN: 2378-3397)
Trauma Cases and Reviews (ISSN: 2469-5777)
International Archives of Urology and Complications (ISSN: 2469-5742)
International Journal of Virology and AIDS (ISSN: 2469-567X)
More Journals

Contact Us

ClinMed International Library | Science Resource Online LLC
3511 Silverside Road, Suite 105, Wilmington, DE 19810, USA


Get Email alerts
Creative Commons License
Open Access
by ClinMed International Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License based on a work at
Copyright © 2017 ClinMed International Library. All Rights Reserved.