Diagnoses & Conditions

Hypogammaglobulinemia

Understanding Hypogammaglobulinemia

Hypogammaglobulinemia is an immune disorder characterized by an abnormally low level of immunoglobulin type G (IgG) in the blood, resulting in increased risk of infection. People diagnosed with non-specific types of immune deficiencies may not meet the strict diagnostic criteria for other deficiencies (e.g., common variable immunodeficiency [CVID]) but still have low levels of IgG and lack of functional antibodies.

Symptoms of Hypogammaglobulinemia

The usual presenting feature of hypogammaglobulinemia is recurrent infections.

Diagnosing Hypogammaglobulinemia

Various laboratory and imaging studies may be helpful in diagnosing hypogammaglobulinemia. Having a low IgG level may not always be related to immune deficiency but may be caused by another condition such as a kidney or gastrointestinal condition, cancer or severe burns, or may be related to medication such as long term use of corticosteroids.

Treating Hypogammaglobulinemia

When other conditions or medications causing the reduction of IgG are ruled out, immune globulin replacement therapy administered into the blood stream intravenously (IVIG) or under the skin subcutaneously (SCIG) is the preferred treatment for hypogammaglobulinemia.

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