Preliminary observations of the clinical efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin in two patients with severe corticosteroid insensitive asthma are reported. In both patients treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin resulted in clinical improvement and enabled a significant reduction in the dose of prednisolone. In one of the patients fibreoptic bronchoscopy with endobronchial biopsies was performed and peripheral blood was analysed by flow cytometry before and after treatment. Immunohistological analysis of the biopsy samples after treatment showed a decrease in the number of all cell types, especially CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, and activated CD25+ T lymphocytes, which was associated with a reduction in peripheral blood T cell activation. Intravenous immunoglobulin may be a valid option for the treatment of corticosteroid insensitive asthma. To elucidate the role and mode of action of intravenous immunoglobulin further studies in larger groups of patients are needed.
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