What are the Common Symptoms of Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID)?

Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immunodeficiency disorder characterized by a weakened immune system, which makes individuals more susceptible to infections. Symptoms of CVID can vary widely from person to person, but here are some common symptoms and manifestations associated with the condition:

  • Recurrent Infections: Individuals with CVID frequently experience recurrent bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, particularly respiratory infections like sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat Infections: Frequent ear infections, sinus infections, and chronic nasal congestion are common in CVID.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: CVID can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic diarrhea, malabsorption of nutrients, and infections of the digestive tract.
  • Skin Infections: Skin infections or skin abscesses may occur in some cases.
  • Autoimmune Disorders: CVID is associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disorders, such as autoimmune cytopenias, rheumatoid arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Enlarged Spleen or Lymph Nodes: Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) or lymph nodes can be observed in some individuals with CVID.
  • Chronic Lung Disease: Chronic lung conditions, including bronchiectasis, may develop due to repeated respiratory infections.
  • Allergic Conditions: Some people with CVID experience allergies or asthma, which can coexist with their immunodeficiency.
  • Fatigue: Chronic fatigue is a common symptom due to the body’s constant effort to fight infections.
  • Delayed Growth and Development in Children: Children with CVID may exhibit delays in growth and development.
  • Unintended Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss can occur, often related to gastrointestinal issues.
  • Joint Pain: Joint pain and inflammation can be associated with CVID, sometimes resembling rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Digestive and Nutritional Problems: Chronic diarrhea, malabsorption of nutrients, and vitamin deficiencies may lead to nutritional problems.
  • Low Blood Cell Counts: Some individuals with CVID may have low levels of different blood cells, such as low red blood cell count (anemia) or low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).

It’s important to note that not all individuals with CVID will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary. Diagnosis typically involves a combination of clinical evaluation, immunological testing, and medical history. Treatment may include regular immunoglobulin replacement therapy to boost the immune system, antibiotics to treat or prevent infections, and treatment of specific symptoms or complications as they arise. The goal is to manage and reduce the impact of infections and associated symptoms to improve the quality of life for individuals with CVID.

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