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J Clin Immunol. 2011 Oct;31(5):737-43. doi: 10.1007/s10875-011-9548-0. Epub 2011 Jun 5.

The relationship between hypogammaglobulinemia, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and humoral immunodeficiency: a case series.

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  • 1Allentown Asthma and Allergy, Allentown, PA 18104, USA. robert.zemble@alumni.duke.edu


Hypogammaglobulinemia of the non-monoclonal immunoglobulin heavy chain classes has been reported in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) patients. Whether low polyclonal immunoglobulin levels are associated with impaired specific antibody production and whether they represent a risk factor for the development of recurrent bacterial infections have not been established in this population. We determined the frequency of MGUS in patients referred to a tertiary care clinical immunology ambulatory care practice for evaluation of hypogammaglobulinemia, who were assessed for deficits in specific antibody production and the presence of recurrent infections. Of the 133 patients evaluated for hypogammaglobulinemia, 68 were screened for monoclonal gammopathy and 5 were found to have MGUS. Three had MGUS associated hypogammaglobulinemia in the absence of a defining primary immunodeficiency, one possibly had common variable immunodeficiency, and one had an uncertain diagnosis. Thus, MGUS may be uncovered in patients presenting with hypogammaglobulinemia even in those who lack an elevated serum level of IgG, IgM, or IgA.

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