Doctors say CDC-backed treatment for kids with inflammatory syndrome linked to coronavirus is ‘highly effective’
May 21, 2020
Head of the pediatric infectious diseases division at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Dr. Audrey John has seen some cases of MIS-C in her department and has seen major success treating kids with it. She describes IVIG as “pooled antibodies” which can be “used to provide immunity to people who don’t make their own antibodies.” She notes that it is the standard treatment for Kawasaki disease (KD), a rare inflammatory syndrome in kids that has many overlapping symptoms with MIS-C.
Dr. Stanford Shulman, a professor of pediatrics with a focus on infectious disease at Northwestern University, adds that IVIG — which is made through blood plasma donations — often comes from students. “IVIG is prepared through plasma donations from the large groups of adults donating plasma, usually on college campuses or nearby,” Shulman says.
The medicine is created through a sophisticated chemical process
The donations used to create IVIG, Shulman says, come from the “liquid part of the blood,” not the red or white blood cells. “Basically you take the blood out of a volunteer's arm and you spin it down and you give them back their red blood cells and you just take the fluid off the top,” says Shulman. “The fluid is rich in many, many kinds of antibodies.”
IVIG likely works by putting a “damper” on the immune system
Although doctors aren’t exactly sure how IVIG helps with MIS-C, the theory is that the healthy antibodies signal to the immune system that it can slow down. “We believe that, like for Kawasaki disease, it puts a damper on the excess and harmful immune response,” says John.
Shulman, who says the medicine has been used since the ’80s to treat KDs, concurs. “Although it's never been totally proven, we believe that IVG works by modulating or suppressing inflammation.”
Both John and Shulman say that patients with KD tend to respond very well to IVIG, and that MIS-C patients are, too. “We and others have found that IVIG and other treatments, such as steroids, lead to a rapid improvement in fever and an improvement in heart function over several days,” says John.
The CDC studied 33 patients with MIS-C, all of whom were given IVIG
As a part of the CDC’s webinar, the organization shared details about the number of patients studied — 33 in total. All of the individuals were given IVIG, 30 percent of them were also given a second dose. The majority (70 percent) were also given a corticosteroid, which works in tandem with the drug to dampen the immune system.
The mortality rate among the group was 0 percent, and 82 percent had been discharged from the hospital at the time of the report.
Seek peace but keep your gun handy.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child