Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is characterized by a host of gastrointestinal (GI) lesions that can mimic other conditions.
We reviewed clinical documentation and samples from 132 separate GI biopsy or resection sites on 20 CVID patients obtained over a 26-year period, including biopsies from the colon (34), esophagus (19), small intestine (38), and stomach (35), a partial gastrectomy, small bowel resection, colectomy, 2 cholecystectomies, and 1 appendectomy.
There were 13 males and 7 females. Nine patients were children (10 y and younger) and 11 were adults. Age at diagnosis ranged from 6 months to 62 years (median, 35.5 y), and age at biopsy ranged from 10 months to 67 years (median, 38 y). Esophageal samples often showed intraepithelial neutrophils, accompanied by candida. Half of patients' esophageal biopsies had prominent intraepithelial lymphocytosis, one of which also had prominent apoptosis. The stomachs of 67% of patients lacked plasma cells. Most showed lymphoid aggregates. An increase in apoptosis was detected in biopsies from a third. About 20% had a lymphocytic gastritis pattern. Intraepithelial neutrophils were found in a subset, accompanied by various infections [cytomegalovirus (CMV), Helicobacter pylori, and Cryptosporidium]. Granulomas were found in 1 patient. Gastric adenocarcinoma was identified in one patient. There was a paucity of small bowel plasma cells in the majority of patients (68%). The small bowel showed prominent lymphoid aggregates in about half (47%). An increase in apoptosis was detected in specimens from about 20%. Increased intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) were found in samples from over half of patients (63%), most of whom (83%) also had villous blunting, mimicking celiac disease. Intraepithelial neutrophils were found in a subset (32%) and correlated with CMV and Cryptosporidium infections. Granulomas were seen in biopsies from 2 patients (11%). One patient had a collagenous enteritis pattern (accompanied by a collagenous colitis pattern). One patient had autoimmune enteritis; biopsies from this patient were initially relatively normal but later displayed prominent crypt apoptosis and loss of goblet cells. In colon samples, a paucity of plasma cells was seen in 10 patients (63%). The colon showed lymphoid aggregates in most patients (81%). Apoptosis was prominent in samples from half of the patients (50%). Biopsies from 6 patients had a lymphocytic colitis pattern (38%) and 2 patients had a collagenous colitis pattern. Intraepithelial neutrophils were found in samples from most patients (88%). Crypt distortion was seen in 6 of these patients (43%), thereby mimicking ulcerative or Crohn colitis. Granulomas were found in 3 patients (19%). CMV was detected in 1 patient. The appendix from 1 patient showed Cryptosporidium and acute serositis with a paucity of plasma cells and an increase in apoptosis. The gallbladder from 1 patient showed acute cholecystitis, and another patient's gallbladder lacked plasma cells.
GI tract CVID displays a wide spectrum of histologic patterns. Its features can mimic lymphocytic colitis, collagenous enterocolitis, celiac disease, lymphocytic gastritis, granulomatous disease, acute graft-versus-host disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. In fact, in our series, we found patients with a prior diagnosis of celiac disease (25%) and inflammatory bowel disease (35%), including Crohn disease (15%). The diagnosis of CVID may be suspected on the basis of the lack of plasma cells in a GI biopsy, but because this feature is only present in about two-thirds of patients, the diagnosis cannot always be suggested in isolation of other clinical and laboratory findings.
"This condition arises as a result of impaired B cell immunity to be accompanied by impaired T cell response  . Apart from that, immunosuppressive therapy of autoimmune diseases such as CD may cause CMV colitis, as seen in our case . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we present an eleven-year-old male patient who had been diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) three years ago due to recurrent sinopulmonary infections. Two years later he had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease (CD) due to diarrhea episodes which were unresponsive to the treatment. Depending on the active gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation he underwent total colectomy. Despite immunoglobulin and antiviral therapies, general condition of patient deteriorated and he died in the postoperative seventh day. Laboratory analysis was seronegative. CMV inclusion containing cells were detected in postmortem biopsies taken from liver, lungs, and lymph nodes.
Case Reports in Medicine 02/2015; 2015. DOI:10.1155/2015/348204
"In addition to the laboratory features outlined above, many patients have characteristic histological lesions including a sarcoidosis-like granulomatous disorder, nodular lymphoid hyperplasia of the gut, nodular regenerative hyperplasia of the liver, or lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis of the lungs (11–16). Absence of plasma cells in gastrointestinal biopsies is another characteristic finding in the majority of CVID patients (17–19). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Common variable immunodeficiency disorders (CVIDs) are the most frequent symptomatic primary immune deficiency condition in adults. The genetic basis for the condition is not known and no single clinical feature or laboratory test can establish the diagnosis; it has been a diagnosis of exclusion. In areas of uncertainty, diagnostic criteria can provide valuable clinical information. Here, we compare the revised European society of immune deficiencies (ESID) registry (2014) criteria with the diagnostic criteria of Ameratunga et al. (2013) and the original ESID/pan American group for immune deficiency (ESID/PAGID 1999) criteria. The ESID/PAGID (1999) criteria either require absent isohemagglutinins or impaired vaccine responses to establish the diagnosis in patients with primary hypogammaglobulinemia. Although commonly encountered, infective and autoimmune sequelae of CVID were not part of the original ESID/PAGID (1999) criteria. Also excluded were a series of characteristic laboratory and histological abnormalities, which are useful when making the diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria of Ameratunga et al. (2013) for CVID are based on these markers. The revised ESID registry (2014) criteria for CVID require the presence of symptoms as well as laboratory abnormalities to establish the diagnosis. Once validated, criteria for CVID will improve diagnostic precision and will result in more equitable and judicious use of intravenous or subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy.
Frontiers in Immunology 09/2014; 5:415. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00415
"The wide range of clinical features associated with CVID includes gastrointestinal symptoms. Depending on the studied group, gastrointestinal (GI) involvement was noted in 20% up to 60% of CVID patients [2, 9, 15, 16]. It is believed that in children with CVID, the gastrointestinal symptoms lead to underweight and inhibition of growth followed by jejunal dysfunction and malabsorption. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selected IgA deficiency (IgAD) and common variable immune deficiency (CVID) are humoral immunity deficiencies frequent in children. In both these types of immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases are present in 20-30% of patients, but the disease profiles are different between adults and children. Autoimmune diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (IBD) and celiac disease are typical for children with IgAD and CVID. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms, histology of jejunum and antibodies often preceding the onset of disease. However, the diagnosis of IBD and celiac disease is difficult in immune deficiency patients due to weaker or absent production of antibodies, and different jejunum histology, particular in CVID patients.
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