The therapeutic concept of allogeneic lymphocyte immunization was proposed in 1981 and gained a lot of acceptance in the following years, especially in the treatment of women who had been suffering from recurrent miscarriages. This treatment procedure even became acceptable to those who did not get any success from the IVF programme. In the following years, several variants of the procedure were developed. It was found through studies that the procedure raised the chances of a successful pregnancy.Thus the LIT therapy can be a boon those who are having problems in getting a successful pregnancy.
However, it needs to be noticed that LIT is not considered as a first-line therapy. Certain other factors that contribute to infertility need to be excluded at first. There are a few adverse effects that could result from LIT. These include pain and redness at the sites of injection, itching and rarely skin rashes. There are no acute allergic reactions and no long term effects like graft versus host disease (GVHD). There have been several studies that have proved the safety of LIT.
LIT with paternal lymphocytes is a therapeutic approach that is preferred in recent days. However, use of any allogenic lymphocytes (from any third party donors) can be equally effective. The injection sites can become a little bluish or reddish and can be seen for 1-2 weeks. However, they do vanish without granuloma or scarring.
How is it related to Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss is the situation when the treatment is considered as a viable option. It is defined as the condition where the person suffers from two or more failed pregnancies. It is known that they result from metabolic or hormonal abnormalities, causes related to chromosomal and genetic changes, abnormalities in the uterus of the prospective mother, antiphospholipid syndrome or some unknown male factor problem. In almost 50-60% of the couples who suffer from these miscarriages, the exact cause of the pregnancy loss is not known.
The recurrent pregnancy loss can be of two different types - primary RPL aborters and secondary RPL aborters. The primary RPL aborters refer those women who have lost each of their previous pregnancies. There is no record of live birth. The secondary RPL aborters would have at least a single successful pregnancy.
In Lymphocyte Immunisation Therapy, the white blood cells are isolated from the father or another donor. It is then injected into the skin (Intradermal) and below the skin (Subcutaneous) of the mother. The lymphocytes of the donor are meant to modulate the immune system of the mother and prepare her for pregnancy. This therapy is considered when all the known investigations are normal and immunologic reasons have been suspected for pregnancy. The therapy helps to prepare the immune system of the mother so that it does not react to the growing embryo as a foreign substance.