Key messages

• The therapeutic use of intravenous immunoglobulin is limited to certain imunological disorders such as immune thrombocytopenic purpura and Guillain-Barre syndrome. No conclusive benefit has been demonstrated in patients with sepsis and septic shock.

• The side-effects of intravenous immunoglobulin are immune complex formation, increased immunoglobulin levels, and infection transmission.

• Monoclonal antibodies against lipid A and tumor necrosis factor-a, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist, and platelet activating factor antagonist have not demonstrated a survival benefit in phase III clinical trials of patients with septic shock.

• The administration of murine monoclonal antibodies leads to the production of human anti-mouse antibodies.

• Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor augments neutrophil number and function and reduces infectious complications during myeloablative chemotherapy.

• There are no convincing data for the use of colony-stimulating factors in critically ill patients with pneumonia and septic shock.

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