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Free Content A 5-month-old boy with recurrent respiratory infections, failure to thrive, and borderline elevated sweat chloride levels

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Both severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and cystic fibrosis (CF) may present in infancy with a history of respiratory infections and failure to thrive. Elevated sweat chloride levels on multiple sweat tests is diagnostic of CF; transient elevation of sweat chloride has been reported in patients with hypogammaglobulinemia and antibody deficiency without CF. This article presents a case report of a 5-month-old boy with recurrent respiratory infections, failure to thrive, and two borderline elevated sweat test levels. Laboratory evaluation including testing for CF as well as immune deficiency was performed in this patient. Two borderline abnormal sweat chloride tests together with isolation of Pseudomonas from the airway caused clinicians initially to suspect CF; however, mutation in gene coding for the -chain of the IL-2 receptor and a negative CF genetic mutation analysis ultimately led to the final diagnosis of SCID. It is essential to make the diagnosis of SCID as early as possible because infants with SCID who do not undergo reconstitution of their immune system universally die in infancy because of infection. Early diagnosis and intervention can lead to an excellent prognosis in a previously fatal disease.

Document Type: Case Report


Publication date: May 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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