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Respiration. 2007;74(3):264-75.

Genetic causes of bronchiectasis: primary immune deficiencies and the lung.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Primary immune deficiencies (PID) comprise a heterogeneous group of genetically determined disorders that affect development and/or function of innate or adaptive immunity. Consequently, patients with PID suffer from recurrent and/or severe infections that frequently involve the lung. While the nature of the immune defect often dictates the type of pathogens that may cause lung infection, there is substantial overlap of radiological findings, so that appropriate laboratory tests are mandatory to define the nature of the immune defect and to prompt appropriate treatment. At the same time, the recent identification of a large number of PID-causing genes now allows early, even presymptomatic diagnosis, thus representing an essential tool for prevention of lung damage. This review article describes the most common forms of PID, their cellular and molecular bases, and the associated lung abnormalities, and reports on available treatment.

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