The LIT Therapy or Lymphocyte Immunisation Therapy is a procedure that is used to combat repetitive pregnancy losses. Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is a condition which defines two or more failed pregnancies. As many as 5% of all women are affected by this. Recurrent miscarriages can lead to various problems in terms of health, spousal relationships and the quality of life. The procedure involves the transfer of white blood cells from the father into the skin of the prospective mother. This is done to introduce the immune system of the husband so as to prepare the immune system of the woman for pregnancy.
When does the LIT therapy come into play?
The uterus of the mother would accept the foetus in a normal pregnancy and the development would be maintained as an allograft, which benefits from the foetal-maternal immune tolerance. But in some cases, there is an immunological rejection of the foetus by the mother. The recurrent pregnancy losses can be categorised broadly into two types - primary RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) aborters and the secondary aborters. The primary aborters do not have any record of live pregnancies, while the secondary RPL aborters have at least one successful pregnancy. Though the cause might not be known in 50%-60% of the cases, hormonal, metabolic or uterine abnormalities are some of the primary causes. The reasons could also be a genetic or chromosomal and antiphospholipid syndrome also.
Can LIT therapy be considered for treatments at all times?
One of the requirements for proper treatment is the screening of the patients. Lymphocyte immunisation therapy is not meant for all women with RPL. The success rates are much higher when patients with immune abnormalities try this therapy. There are several immunologic mechanisms that are associated with the recurrent losses of pregnancy. When a low dose of lymphocytes is administered to the patients, the birth rate is improved by a very good margin. However, immunotherapy works best with the fresh lymphocytes rather than the refrigerated ones. Thus, LIT therapy is one of the best ways to improve the chances of pregnancy for people suffering from recurrent pregnancy losses.
How is the therapy performed?
The LIT is performed with the help of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells. They are collected from a healthy donor. Generally, the prospective father is chosen as the donor, though it depends on the immune issues and circumstances. A fresh blood sample is collected before the treatment and a concentrated solution of lymphocytes is prepared. It is then injected into the skin (intradermal) and below the skin (subcutaneous) of the prospective mother. A series of shallow injections transfer the lymphocytes to the mother.
A single LIT treatment is administered to the patient. The LAD or Leukocyte Antibody Detection test is conducted prior to LIT. The treatment is done if LAD is negative. A booster treatment might even be required in early pregnancy. The blood donors are required to go through a comprehensive screening before the donation process. Most of the patients do not experience any side effects in the process. There could, however, be some redness and itching at the injection site.
Total of 596 couples were given Immunotherapy, 486 patients with Recurrent Miscarriages or unexplained infertility and 110 patients with IVF implantation failure. Of the 486 with RM, 390 women conceived and delivered live fetus at 33 weeks or later. Of the 110 patients with IVF failure 85 conceived & delivered at 33 weeks or later.
The lyers went form clinic to clinic . They tried everything,including IVF. Nothing worked.But they were not the ones to give up hope! Finally,after 5 years of waiting,Nisha was born to them at our clinic.
An open letter from Dr Mugdha
Nisha is 21 now! she is hale and hearty; beautiful to look at and very very spirited. To me, she could have been no one other than that - knowing first hand how she was brought into the world.
It is beautiful story I love to tell,especially to those couples who have resigned to a life without a child.Read More
There are half a million cases where IVF has failed too;but that no way means the end of the road to parenthood. Dr Mohan Raut writes about his experience with Lymhocyte Immunisation Therapy.Read More