INTRODUCTION: Infectious and immune-mediated encephalitides are important but under-recognised causes of morbidity and mortality in childhood, with a 7% death rate and up to 50% morbidity after prolonged follow-up. There is a theoretical basis for ameliorating the immune response with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), which is supported by empirical evidence of a beneficial response following its use in the treatment of viral and autoimmune encephalitis. In immune-mediated encephalitis, IVIG is often used after a delay (by weeks in some cases), while diagnosis is confirmed. Wider use of IVIG in infectious encephalitis and earlier use in immune-mediated encephalitis could improve outcomes for these conditions. We describe the protocol for the first ever randomised control trial of IVIG treatment for children with all-cause encephalitis. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: 308 children (6 months to 16 years) with a diagnosis of acute/subacute encephalitis will be recruited in ∼30 UK hospitals and randomised to receive 2 doses (1 g/kg/dose) of either IVIG or matching placebo, in addition to standard treatment. Recruitment will be over a 42-month period and follow-up of each participant will be for 12 months post randomisation. The primary outcome is 'good recovery' (score of 2 or lower on the Glasgow Outcome Score Extended-paediatric version), at 12 months after randomisation. Additional secondary neurological measures will be collected at 4-6 weeks after discharge from acute care and at 6 and 12 months after randomisation. Safety, radiological, other autoimmune and tertiary outcomes will also be assessed. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This trial has been approved by the UK National Research Ethics committee (South Central-Oxford A; REC 14/SC/1416). Current protocol: V4.0 (10/03/2016). The findings will be presented at national and international meetings and conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS: NCT02308982, EudraCT201400299735 and ISRCTN15791925; Pre-results.

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Journal article


BMJ Open

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ADEM, GOSE-Peds, autoimmune, encephalitides, immune-mediated