Clinical characteristics of pediatric patients evaluated for primary immunodeficiency

Andrew MacGinnitie, Frank Aloi, Seema Mishra
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2011, 22 (7): 671-5

OBJECTIVE: When to evaluate a child for possible immune deficiency is a challenge, as many children have frequent infections for which they are treated with antibiotics. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics of children evaluated for possible primary immunodeficiency in a specialist clinic. We specifically aimed to evaluate widely promulgated 'warning signs of primary immunodeficiency' and to evaluate the relationship between primary immunodeficiency and atopy.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 141 children who underwent testing for possible primary immunodeficiency was undertaken.

RESULTS: Thirty-two (23%) children were diagnosed with an underlying primary immunodeficiency, and published warning signs were neither sensitive nor specific for primary immunodeficiency. Patients with allergy as determined by the presence of antigen-specific IgE were more likely to be diagnosed with immunodeficiency.

CONCLUSIONS: Widely promulgated warning signs did not distinguish between patients with and without primary immunodeficiency. Likewise, primary immunodeficiency and allergy may coexist.

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