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An Pediatr (Barc). 2011 Feb;74(2):74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2010.09.019. Epub 2010 Dec 17.

[Spectrum of primary immunodeficiencies in a tertiary hospital over a period of 10 years].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Patología Infecciosa e Inmunodeficiencias Pediátricas, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.



More than 200 primary immunodeficiencies (PID) have been described and about 60% present during childhood. Early diagnosis and treatment have been shown to improve patient outcome.


Analysis of patients with a PID diagnosed in a paediatric tertiary care hospital-referral centre over a period of 10 years.


Medical records of all paediatric patients followed up in our unit were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory tests, therapy and outcome were analysed.


One hundred and eighty nine patients were followed up in this period of time. Antibody disorders were the most common diagnosis. In our series, clinical presentation at diagnosis were: recurrent respiratory infections in selective IgA deficiency and common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients, failure to thrive and opportunistic infections (mainly viral infections) in patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), skin abscesses (Staphylococcus aureus, Serratia spp.) and complicated pneumonia (Aspergillus spp., Rhodococcus equi) in chronic granulomatous disease, congenital heart disease and consistent phenotype in 22q11 deletion syndrome, skin abscesses and ecthyma gangrenosum in severe congenital neutropenia and opportunistic infections and sepsis (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) in children with X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA). Lymphoproliferative disorders were common in CVID. No malignancies were observed during this period. One patient with XLA developed chronic encephalitis. All patients with CVID and XLA were receiving immunoglobulin replacement therapy (8 intravenous and 14 (since 2006) subcutaneous route) and in all but two SCID patients, stem cell transplantation was performed. Outcome was good in most of them except 8 SCID (2 prior and 6 after transplantation), 3 Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, 1 complete DiGeorge, 1 chronic granulomatous disease and 1 ataxia-telangiectasia patients who died during follow-up.


The vast majority of patients included in this series presented with typical clinical features; therefore, basic knowledge of these entities in primary care and collaboration with hospital referral centres should allow a large number of PID in children to be diagnosed at an early stage, leading to proper treatment and monitoring, and therefore improvement of patient prognosis.

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