IMMUNE-BASED TREATMENT PROVES EFFECTIVE FOR WOMEN WITH RECURRENT MISCARRIAGES.
From: Union Square Medical Associates
450 Sutter Street, Suite 1504
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 399-1035
Fax: (415) 399-1057
San Francisco, CA, December 15, 1998---Women with recurrent miscarriages may benefit from a treatment that affects the immune system.
In a study performed by doctors in the San Francisco area, women with three or more unexplained miscarriages were found to benefit from regular infusions of a plasma extract known as intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG. Treatment with IVIG appears to counteract the immune response that can reject a woman's fetus and cause repeated pregnancy losses. In order to be effective, the IVIG infusions had to be given prior to conception and then continued every month through the end of the sixth month of pregnancy.
"Our results give renewed hope to women who repeatedly fail to have a successful pregnancy", said Dr. Raphael B. Stricker, the study leader. "IVIG offers a safe, standardized method of treating a woman whose immune system is rejecting her fetus".
Recent investigations have shown that women who suffer recurrent pregnancy losses, particularly older women, tend to have a variety of abnormalities in their immune response to pregnancy. Testing for these abnormalities can identify women who will benefit from the IVIG treatment, Dr. Stricker said.
In the San Francisco study, 47 women with recurrent miscarriages were found to have abnormal immune reactivity in their blood tests. Of these women, 24 underwent IVIG treatment and became pregnant, and 22 had a successful pregnancy. Among the untreated women, 7 became pregnant and all of them miscarried. The difference in pregnancy success between the treated and untreated women was highly significant.
Dr. Stricker is affiliated with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Other participants in the study were Dr. Alex Steinleitner of the Astarte Medical Group in San Francisco, Dr. Louis N. Weckstein of the Reproductive Science Center in San Ramon, Dr. Charles N. Bookoff of California Pacific Medical Center, and Dr. Edward E. Winger of Immunodiagnostic Laboratories in San Leandro.