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Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Feb;36(4):238-45.

Common variable immunodeficiency in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Rheumatology, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.



The development of common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) or hypogammaglobulinemia in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is rare. The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed review of lupus-associated CVID and to identify clinical characteristics and laboratory features in patients with SLE-associated CVID.


We describe 2 patients with SLE and CVID and review the cases published in the English literature highlighting both the demographic and the clinical characteristics and the laboratory and therapeutic aspects of this disorder.


Detailed descriptions of 18 patients were available; 89% were females with a mean age at the onset of SLE of 23.8 years. In 50% of patients CVID developed within the first 5 years after the diagnosis of SLE. All patients had been treated with corticosteroids and 72% had also received immunosuppressive therapy. Sinopulmonary infections were the most frequent symptom. SLE disease activity decreased after the development of CVID in 67% of patients. Most patients (89%) were treated with gammaglobulin therapy. The most notable immunological feature was a reduced number or percentage of B-cells in 60% of patients.


CVID should be suspected in any SLE patient with recurrent sinopulmonary infections in the absence of SLE activity and/or immunosuppressive treatment.

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