Routine blood tests and IVIG

    • Anonymous
      November 16, 2008 at 11:39 pm

      Hi All,
      I tried searching for this answer with no luck. My husband has been on IVIG two days per month for the past year. He hasn’t had any blood work done since he started on the IVIG. I seem to recall reading that many doctors order routine monthly blood work while patients are taking IVIG. Is that the case for those of you taking IVIG? If so, which blood tests, and how often and what is the rationale?

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 3:41 am

      Hi, Laurel,

      I can’t speak for those on your side of the Pond, but over here it depends on the hospital in which you’re having IVIg. One hospital I attended took blood before and after every infusion (and left my veins in really bad shape). Another has never done a blood test relating to my IVIg. Admittedly, the first hospital was where I had my first infusions; I didn’t start at the second until I’d been having IVIg for over a year with no problems.

      Best wishes in the battle,


    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 5:48 am

      They should run Liver and Kidney functions at a minimum. Protein counts may be off due to the amount of protein in IVIg. Getting routine tests will help you figure out when something is wrong vs. when the tests are off just because of the treatment.

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 8:36 am

      I used to get a CBC and chem profile each month before my IVIG. I don’t have the rationale other than they were ordered so I got them! Something I noticed was my WBC was always high till after I had the cyclophosphamide and now it has been within normal range so I know it did something.

    • November 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

      I have been “on” IVIG for 14 years and ALWAYS get at least a CMP blood test between each ivig to monitor kidney function. Renal failure is always a possibility for those on ivig

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks to Jan, Julie, Deb, and Bill for your responses. I figured he should be getting some routine bloodwork in between treatments. The next hurdle will be tactfully bring it up with the neuro. Sheesh one wonders why they don’t all follow some routine protocals for things like IVIG administration.

    • Anonymous
      November 17, 2008 at 11:04 pm

      Laurel, I get a CBC q 3 months-but that is for the immunosuppressants.

      For the ivig-I get q 3 months liver and renal funstion tests, as both are affected by ivig. Everyone here says to get your bloodwork just before your ivig-that would be the truest level.

    • Anonymous
      November 18, 2008 at 1:42 am

      Thanks Emma. Seems pretty reasonable that the doctor would want to monitor the liver and kidneys. Which immunosuupressant are you taking? Looks like husband is going to have to go that route. He is starting to relapse with just the IVIG. He had the bad reaction (sepsis) with the Immuran last Christmas–so he is anxious about going on another one. Plus he is 61, has irritable bowel, has sleep apnea and uses a CPAP and CPAP users can be prone to pneumonia due the bacteria that can live in the apparatus. So he worries about any immunosuppressant due to infection risk. We’re hoping when he gets this month’s IVIG later this week that his relapse symptoms will abate. If not, he has to back to the neuro. and tell her that he is relapsing i.e. weakness and lost of strength in his atrophied hand, some drop foot, and profuse sweating (? some autonomic sx’s happening–all the same sx’s as before he went on IVIG one year ago). This is such a nasty disease.