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Common variable immunodeficiency in children

Mary Beth Hogan, MD
Nevin W Wilson, MD
Section Editor
E Richard Stiehm, MD
Deputy Editor
Anna M Feldweg, MD


Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a heterogeneous disorder involving immune dysfunction of B and T lymphocytes and dendritic cells. The characteristic immunologic defect is the inability of B cells to differentiate into plasma cells capable of secreting all immunoglobulin types. While CVID is often regarded as a disease of adults, it does affect children, and diagnosis in young children can be challenging.

Clinical features of CVID and issues in the diagnosis and management of this disorder that are specific to pediatric patients (less than 18 years of age) will be reviewed here. Additional reviews of CVID, which emphasize adult manifestations and management, are found separately. (See "Clinical manifestations, epidemiology, and diagnosis of common variable immunodeficiency in adults" and "Pathogenesis of common variable immunodeficiency" and "Treatment and prognosis of common variable immunodeficiency".)


Definition — Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is defined by the following [1]:

Age-specific reduction in serum concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG), in combination with low levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and/or immunoglobulin M (IgM)

Presence of B cells


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Nov 3, 2014.
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