Pulmonologist perspectives regarding diagnosis and management of primary immunodeficiency diseases
The time from symptom onset to diagnosis for patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD) is an average of 12 years, but prompt diagnosis and treatment can promote best outcomes.
Because the manifestations of PIDD are often sinopulmonary in nature, patients with undiagnosed PIDD are frequently referred to pulmonologists. This study sought to identify opportunities among these specialists to improve diagnosis and clinical management of patients with PIDD.
A survey was sent to American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association members whose specialty was pulmonology. Responses were compared with those from a historical survey of 71 subspecialist immunologists (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology members who devoted >10% of their practice to patients with PIDD).
The surveys were returned by 485 pulmonologists, 49% of whom had diagnosed at least one patient with PIDD. In comparison with subspecialist immunologists, fewer pulmonologists were aware of the professional PIDD diagnosis and management guidelines and fewer followed up patients with various PIDDs. Pulmonologists and subspecialist immunologists also differed in the practice of prescribing prophylactic antibiotics and immunoglobulin replacement and in avoiding live viral vaccines.
Differences in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with PIDD between these two groups of specialists revealed areas in which PIDD-focused educational initiatives may be helpful for pulmonologists.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: department of Pediatrics, Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
Publication date: November 1, 2016
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