What does "serum" mean in "Intravenous serum therapy"? Does it refer to the substance that is injected through the veins? If not, what do we call the liquid in such an injection?

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    Can you clarify or add a reference to "intravenous serum therapy". I'm not sure what that would be. In medicine, serum generally refers to a blood sample that has had blood cells and clotting factors removed. – De Novo Aug 7 '18 at 20:22
  • @DeNovo I think OP is referring to gamma globulin, but I agree that clarification is needed. What was the context where you heard this term? – Carey Gregory Aug 8 '18 at 23:25

From what I can find, intravenous serum therapy is a less common synonym for intravenous fluid therapy (Fahimi et al. 2011). The difference, to my comprehension, is that the term intravenous serum therapy refers to the fact that therapy is done to the serum (the watery portion of animal / human blood), whereas intravenous fluid therapy refers to the fact that the therapy is done with fluids. (Okada et al. 2003)


  • Fahimi D, Tavakolizadeh R, Sadeghi M. 2011. Usefulness of Serum Electrolyte Determination in Patients with Dehydration. Pediatric Research 70: p. 762.

  • Okada Y, Shinohara M, Kobayashi T, Kobayashi T, Inoue Y, Tomomasa T, Gunma Kawasaki Disease Study Group. 2003. Effect of corticosteroids in addition to intravenous gamma globulin therapy on serum cytokine levels in the acute phase of kawasaki disease in children. J of Ped. 143(3): 363-367.

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