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Immunodeficiency disorders.


Hematological complications occur frequently in patients with both primary and secondary immunodeficiency disorders. Anemia, thrombocytopenia or leukopenias may bring these individuals to the attention of hematologists. Conversely, evidence suggesting a lymphoproliferative disorder may be the cause for referral. This session will provide an update on the diagnosis and treatment of immunodeficiency diseases ranging from isolated defects in antibody production to the severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCID). Immunodeficiency diseases have traditionally been defined as defects in the development and function of T and B cells, the primary effector cells of specific cellular and humoral immunity. However, it has become increasingly evident that innate immune mechanisms contribute greatly to host defense, either through acting alone or by enhancing specific T and B cell responses. In Section I, Dr. Lewis Lanier reviews the burgeoning information on the extensive families of activating and inhibitory immunoreceptors that are expressed on NK cells, dendritic cells, T and B cells, and phagocytic cells. He provides an overview on the biological functions of these receptors in host defense. In Section II, Dr. Mary Ellen Conley defines the spectrum of antibody deficiency disorders, the most frequently occurring types of primary immunodeficiencies. She covers the different defects in B-cell development and function that lead to antibody deficiencies, and includes diagnosis and therapy of these disorders. In Section III, Dr. Jennifer Puck discusses the diagnosis and treatment of the different types of SCID. She describes the genetic basis for SCID, and the benefits, pitfalls, and complications of gene therapy and bone marrow transplantation in SCID patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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