Skip to main content

Open Access 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.

Keywords: Pulmonologists; awareness; comparison; diagnosis; knowledge gaps; management; needs assessment; primary immunodeficiency disease; subspecialist immunologist; survey

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

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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Reprint Requests
  • Commercial level: Permission to use content
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content