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Common variable immunodeficiency

Related Terms

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Background

  • Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), also called hypogammaglobulinemia or adult-onset hypogammaglobulinemia, is a relatively common primary immune deficiency. The disorder is characterized by a lack of antibody-producing B-cells or plasma cells, low levels of most or all immunoglobulin isotypes and recurrent bacterial infections.
  • CVID is considered the most prevalent type of primary immunodeficiency. Primary immunodeficiencies are disorders that occur because part of the body's immune system does not function properly. Unlike secondary immunodeficiencies, which are caused by factors (like viruses or chemotherapy) outside of the immune system, primary immunodeficiencies are caused by intrinsic or genetic defects in the immune system.
  • While the exact incidence rate of CVID is unknown, researchers estimate that about one out of 50,000 individuals develop the disorder. Most patients develop the disorder between the ages of 20 and 50. Only about 20% of patients are diagnosed during childhood. CVID affects an equal number of males and females.
  • CVID is diverse, both in its clinical presentation (signs and symptoms) and in the types of deficiency. Although decreased serum levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin A (IgA) are characteristic of the disorder, about half of CVID patients also have decreased immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels in the blood. In addition, about half of CVID patients experience some T-lymphocyte dysfunction.
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Causes

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Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.