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Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2013 Mar;5(2):88-95. doi: 10.4168/aair.2013.5.2.88. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Clinical predictors of primary immunodeficiency diseases in children.

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Department of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Children's Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.



To promote awareness of primary immunodeficiency (PID), the "10 warning signs" of PID and an immunodeficiency-related (IDR) score were developed. However, their efficiency in identifying PID cases was not sufficiently evaluated in clinical practice. The objective of this study was to test the validity of the 10 warning signs and IDR score in identifying PID among children with recurrent infections at a tertiary pediatric hospital in Egypt.


A retrospective analysis of the medical records of 204 patients was performed. Of these patients, 92 had defined PID diseases and 112 were considered non-PID cases because investigations were inconclusive.


Demonstrating two warning signs and an IDR score of 6 led to sensitivities of 94 and 66%, respectively, and specificities of 64 and 75%, respectively, in identifying PID cases. The strongest predictor of PID was family history that, if combined with the need for intravenous antibiotics, recurrent deep-seated infections, and failure to thrive, could identify 81% of PID patients. A family history of PID, sibling death, and/or parental consanguinity would predict 92% of combined immunodeficiencies, 92% of phagocyte defects, 87% of well-identified immunodeficiency syndromes, and 84% of antibody deficiency if the need for intravenous antibiotics is considered in the latter.


The 10 warning signs and IDR score do not aid in an early diagnosis of severe PID. Educational campaigns should target pediatricians aiming to increase PID awareness and to address family history of PID, parental consanguinity, and previous sibling death as key predictors of PID in communities with a high prevalence of consanguineous marriages.


Children; Egypt; immunodeficiency disease-related score; primary immunodeficiency diseases; recurrent infection; ten warning signs

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