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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Common variable immunodeficiency


Other Names for this Disease

  • Common variable hypogamma-globulinemia
  • CVID
  • Hypogamma-globulinemia, acquired
  • Immunoglobulin deficiency, late-onset
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Overview

Common variable immunodeficiency is a group of disorders in which the immune system cannot make antibodies in response to foreign substances that may cause infection.  The main features that separate CVID from other immunodeficiencies are low levels of two specific antibodies, immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG).  Individuals with this condition develop more frequent infections, particularly in the sinuses, lungs, and digestive tract. [1] [2]  CVID symptoms most commonly begin in early adulthood, but have been found in children as young as two years.  Though some cases of CVID are caused by known genetic factors, the cause of most cases is unknown. [3]  CVID can sometimes be treated by "replacing" antibodies into the body; this treatment is called "immunoglobulin therapy". [4]
Last updated: 10/25/2010

References

  1. Primary Immunodeficiency. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) . April 7, 2008; http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/primary_immuno.cfm#WhatisPrimaryImmunodeficiency. Accessed 10/12/2010.
  2. Schwartz RA, Modak RM, Modak P. Common Variable Immunodeficiency. eMedicine. March 16, 2010; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1051103-overview. Accessed 10/12/2010.
  3. Scharenberg, Andrew et al.. Common Variable Immune Deficiency Overview. GeneReviews. July 5, 2006; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=gene&part=cvid. Accessed 10/12/2010.
  4. Frequently Asked Questions. Primary Immunodeficiency Resource Center. http://www.info4pi.org/aboutPI/index.cfm?Section=aboutPI&content=faq&CFID=35047926&CFTOKEN=43348784#499. Accessed 10/12/2010.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Common variable immunodeficiency. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Common variable hypogamma-globulinemia
  • CVID
  • Hypogamma-globulinemia, acquired
  • Immunoglobulin deficiency, late-onset
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.