Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) for Resistant Neuropathic Pain

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Calgary
Updated on 7 November 2020
pain relief
diabetic neuropathy
postherpetic neuralgia


This project addresses a vexing problem that has alluded the best efforts of the medical/scientific community: treatment of resistant neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is common and includes conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, post herpetic neuralgia and post stroke pain and is believed to affect at least 3% of adults. Surveys of patients with neuropathic pain indicate that 60% do not receive adequate relief with current treatment. Results from recent laboratory and human studies reveal a new approach to treatment. This approach is based on the findings that neuroinflammation appears to be involved in development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. This study explores the effects of an immune-modulating blood-derived product, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), in treating neuropathic pain. IVIG is thought to reduce neuroinflammation contributing to neuropathic pain. If successful, the study will provide important insights into pain mechanisms and a better understanding of how IVIG relieves neuropathic pain. Hypotheses: 1. Reduction in neuroinflammation (NI) markers will co-vary with clinical indicators of pain relief 2. Patients with higher levels of markers of NI will be more likely to respond to IVIG


This study will employ a randomized double blind cross-over design. A total of 12 subjects will be recruited for the study. Once each subject has satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria and provided informed consent, the subject will be randomized to either the IVIG or placebo treatment groups, using a pre-determined randomization list generated by the research office at the University of Calgary. Complete responders will begin a monitoring phase, partial and non-responders will return for a second cycle in one month. Complete responders, with prolonged relief, will cross-over to the alternative treatment when their pain returns if this occurs within 6 months of the infusion.

Condition Neuralgia
Treatment Normal saline, Intravenous immunoglobulin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT00850005
SponsorUniversity of Calgary
Last Modified on7 November 2020


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