Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
is an immunodeficiency problem that causes a child to have a low level of antibodies and
a decreased responsiveness to some vaccines. This makes it hard for the child’s body to
fight infections. The child then becomes sick with infections that keep coming back.
Most people with CVID become sick and are diagnosed as adults. But in some cases, the
disease may become obvious after a child is 2 years old, during childhood or puberty.
The symptoms of the disease are very different for each child affected. This is why it
is called a variable group of disorders.
Experts don't know what causes
CVID. The disorder causes a decrease in the number of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in
the child who has it. Immunoglobulins are made by the body. They are needed to fight
infections. In some cases, more than one person in a family may be affected.
The only known risk factor for CVID is a family history of the problem.
child may have slightly different symptoms. Symptoms may include:
A diagnosis of CVID is often made
based on a complete health history and physical exam. In addition, multiple blood tests
may be ordered to help confirm the diagnosis. Testing for low serum IgG concentrations
is key to diagnosing this health problem.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general
health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment may include:
Infections, and the results of those
infections, are the greatest complication of CVID. With correct treatment, the number
and severity of infections should be reduced. Adults with CVID have an increased risk of
CVID is a lifelong health problem that
can lead to a reduced ability to fight infections. The current therapies can reduce the
number and severity of infections. But it is important to help your child avoid
infections and wash their hands often with soap and water. Include your healthcare
provider in the discussion about school attendance and after-school activities. Most
children are able to take part in all activities. But they may need to not do some
activities when the risk for infection is higher. It is also important that you work
closely with a specialist who is familiar with CVID and the newest treatments.
Call the healthcare provider if your
child’s symptoms get worse or if your child has new symptoms.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637 | 773-702-1000
Appointments: Call UCM Connect at 1-888-824-0200