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Infectious and non-infectious complications in primary immunodeficiency disorders: an autopsy study from North India


Background Primary immunodeficiency disorders (PID) include a wide spectrum of inherited disorders characterised by functional abnormalities of one or more components of the immune system. Recent updates from the genomic data have contributed significantly to its better understanding with identification of new entities. Diagnosis is always challenging due to their variable clinical presentation. With the evolution of molecular diagnosis, many of these children are being diagnosed early and offered appropriate therapy. However, in developing countries, early diagnosis is still not being made: as a result these patients succumb to their disease. Autopsy data on PID is notably lacking in the literature with histopathological evaluation of PID being limited to rare case reports.

Objective To analyse the clinical, immunologic (including mutational) and morphologic features at autopsy in 10 proven and suspected cases of primary immunodeficiency disorders diagnosed at our Institute over the past decade.

Methods Study includes a detailed clinico-pathological analysis of 10 proven and suspected cases of primary immunodeficiency disorders.

Results A varied spectrum of infectious and non-infectious complications were identified in these cases of which fungal infections were found to be more frequent compared with viral or bacterial infections. Rare and novel morphological findings, like granulomatous involvement of the heart in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease, systemic amyloidosis in a teenage girl with X-linked agammaglobulinemia, are highlighted which is distinctly lacking in the literature.

Conclusions The present study is perhaps the first autopsy series on PID. Even in the molecular era, such analysis is still important, as correlation of pathological features with clinical symptoms provides clues for a timely diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic intervention.

  • autopsy pathology
  • histopathology
  • immunodeficiency
  • immunopathology
  • paediatric pathology

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