Acute renal failure and intravenous immune globulin: Occurs with sucrose-stabilized, but not with D-sorbitol-stabilized, formulation

Scott A. Chapman, Kristine L. Gilkerson, Thomas D. Davin, Marc R. Pritzker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To report 2 cases of acute renal failure (ARF) following administration of sucrose-stabilized intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), one of which did not recur following subsequent doses of D-sorbitol-stabilized formulation, and review the relevant literature. CASE SUMMARIES: A 44-year-old white man awaiting heart transplantation developed ARF requiring hemodialysis following administration of sucrose-stabilized IVIG for high alloreactivity to population human leukocyte antigens. Following a return of renal function to baseline, subsequent doses of D-sorbitol-stabilized IVIG were administered without incident. A 90-year-old white man developed ARF after administration of sucrose-stabilized IVIG for monoclonal gammopathy. Renal function returned to baseline, and no subsequent IVIG doses were administered. An objective causality assessment revealed that sucrose-stabilized IVIG was the probable cause of the adverse drug event for both cases. DISCUSSION: Several case reports of ARF secondary to IVIG have been published. Recent publications note that sucrose-stabilized IVIG products have a disproportionately high rate of ARF occurrence (∼88%) versus non-sucrose-stabilized formulations. Recent market data for IVIG products indicate that sucrose-stabilized products account for approximately 40% of the total IVIG market. When administered intravenously, sucrose is excreted unchanged in the urine. ARF has been reported in patients receiving large doses of intravenous sucrose. CONCLUSIONS: ARF secondary to IVIG may be more likely to occur with sucrose-stabilized formulations. Before prescribing IVIG, clinicians should consider other nephrotoxic medications, preexisting renal function, age, diabetes mellitus, and rate of infusion. In patients at risk, it may be best to avoid sucrose-stabilized formulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2059-2067
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Acute renal failure
  • Intravenous immune globulin
  • Sucrose


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute renal failure and intravenous immune globulin: Occurs with sucrose-stabilized, but not with D-sorbitol-stabilized, formulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this