The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Your condition and treatment

Primary Immunodeficiency

This group of disorders is so called, as there is no secondary factor, such as chemotherapy, to account for the immunodeficiency. Patients with primary immunodeficiencies experience persistent, severe and often unusual infections depending upon which area of the immune system is affected. Once a patient has been referred to an immunologist and a diagnosis of primary immunodeficiency has been identified, the treatment will then depend upon the disease, and may consist of antibiotics, physiotherapy, immunisations or replacement immunoglobulin therapy.

Antibody deficient patients requiring long-term or lifelong treatment with replacement immunoglobulin can be treated using two different techniques:

Intravenous immunoglobulin

This is given predominantly in the hospital setting every two to four weeks. Subcutaneous immunoglobulin. Rapid subcutaneous infusions are available and are offered to all patients. The infusion generally takes between 30 minutes and two hours depending upon the dosage, and is given weekly, usually in the home setting.

Home Therapy

Self-infusion of immunoglobulin at home provides greater convenience and Independence for the patient. It may save time off work or school travelling to and from the hospital, no medical or nursing staff are required for the infusion, leaves outpatient bed space free and gives the patients greater control over their condition.