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Gamma globulin

gamma globulin, gamma globulin injections
Gamma globulins are a class of globulins, identified by their position after serum protein electrophoresis[1][2] The most significant gamma globulins are immunoglobulins antibodies, although some immunoglobulins are not gamma globulins, and some gamma globulins are not immunoglobulins


  • 1 Use as medical treatment
  • 2 Pathology
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Use as medical treatment

Further information: Intravenous immunoglobulin

Gamma globulin injections are usually given in an attempt to temporarily boost a patient's immunity against disease Being a product derived from bone marrow and lymph gland cells, gamma globulin injections, along with blood transfusions and intravenous drug use, can pass along hepatitis C to their recipients Once hepatitis C was identified in 1989, blood banks began screening all blood donors for the presence of the virus in their bloodstream However, since hepatitis C is known to have been present since at least the 1940s, a gamma globulin shot received prior to the early 1990s put the recipient at risk of being infected

Injections are most commonly used on patients having been exposed to hepatitis A or measles, or to make a kidney donor and a recipient compatible regardless of blood type or tissue match Injections are also used to boost immunity in patients unable to produce gamma globulins naturally because of an immune deficiency, such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia and hyper IgM syndrome Such injections are less common in modern medical practice than they were previously, and injections of gamma globulin previously recommended for travelers have largely been replaced by the use of hepatitis A vaccine

Gamma globulin infusions are also used to treat some immunological diseases, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura ITP, a disease in which the platelets are being attacked by antibodies, leading to seriously low platelet counts It appears that gamma globulin causes the spleen to ignore the antibody-tagged platelets, thus allowing them to survive and function

A recent clinical trial of gamma globulin in chronic fatigue syndrome patients had no recognizable benefit, while an older trial showed improvement The success of this treatment remains uncertain[citation needed]

Another theory on how gamma globulin administration works in autoimmune disease is by overloading the mechanisms that degrade gamma globulins Overloading the degradation mechanism causes the harmful gamma globulins to have a much shorter halflife in sera

Intravenous immunoglobulin IVIG may be used in Kawasaki disease

Intravenous gamma globulin was FDA-approved in 2004 to reduce antibodies in a patient with kidney failure to allow that person to accept a kidney from a donor with a different blood type ABO-incompatible, or who is an unacceptable tissue match Stanley Jordan at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles pioneered this treatment[3]


An excess is known as hypergammaglobulinemia A deficiency is known as hypogammaglobulinemia

A disease of gamma globulins is called a "gammopathy" for example, in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance


  1. ^ S Ramakrishnan October 2004 Textbook of Medical Biochemistry Orient Blackswan pp 157– ISBN 978-81-250-2071-4 
  2. ^ Allan Gaw; Michael Murphy; Rajeev Srivastava, Robert A Cowan, Denis St J O'Reilly 7 June 2013 Clinical Biochemistry E-Book: An Illustrated Colour Text Elsevier Health Sciences pp 52– ISBN 978-0-7020-5414-3 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  3. ^ "Multi-center Study Finds Therapy Boosts Kidney Transplants In 'Highly Sensitized' Patients" 

External links

  • gamma-Globulins at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings MeSH

gamma globulin, gamma globulin anemia, gamma globulin deficiency, gamma globulin infusion, gamma globulin infusion therapy, gamma globulin injections, gamma globulin levels, gamma globulin shot, gamma globulin side effects, gamma globulin therapy

Gamma globulin Information about

Gamma globulin

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