Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Nodular regenerative hyperplasia in common variable immunodeficiency.

PURPOSE: Patients with Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) are subject to the development of a liver disease syndrome known as nodular regenerative hyperplasia (NRH). The purpose of this study was to define the characteristics and course of this complication of CVID.

METHODS: CVID patients were evaluated by retrospective and prospective clinical course review. Liver biopsy specimens were evaluated for evidence of NRH and studied via RT-PCR for cytokine analysis.

RESULTS: NRH in our CVID patient population occurred in approximately 5 % of the 261 patients in our total CVID study group, initially presenting in most cases with an elevated alkaline phosphatase level. While in some patients the disease remained static, in a larger proportion a more severe disease developed characterized by portal hypertension, the latter leading to hypersplenism with neutropenia and thrombocytopenia and, in some cases, to ascites. In addition, a substantial proportion of patients either developed or presented initially with an autoimmune hepatitis-like (AIH-like) liver disease that resulted in severe liver dysfunction and, in most cases to death due to infections. The liver histologic findings in these AIH-like patients were characterized by underlying NRH pattern with superimposed interface hepatitis, lymphocytic infiltration and fibrosis. Immunologic studies of biopsies of NRH patients demonstrated the presence of infiltrating T cells producing IFN-γ, suggesting that the NRH is due to an autoimmune process.

CONCLUSION: Overall, these studies provide evidence that NRH may not be benign but, can be a severe and potentially fatal disease complication of CVID that merits close monitoring and intervention.

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