BACKGROUND:Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a therapeutic modality approved for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. OBJECTIVE:This review discusses how IVIG can prevent brain damage following ischemic stroke and discuss the potential mechanisms of action. METHODS:Medline and the world wide web were searched and the relevant literature was classified under the following categories: IVIG, IVIG mechanism of action, and ischemic stroke injury mechanisms. RESULTS/CONCLUSION:Brain ischemia induces an inflammatory response that contributes to neuronal cell death. Because of its ability to block multiple molecular events, IVIG may have particularly strong neuroprotective action against ischemic brain injury. In light of the extensive clinical experience with IVIG for other indications, development of clinical trials to evaluate the use of IVIG in human stroke patients are warranted.