Laboratory clues to immunodeficiency; missed chances for early diagnosis?

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Primary immunodeficiency is seen in an estimated one in 1200 people, and secondary immunodeficiency is increasingly common, particularly with the use of immunosuppresion, cancer therapies and the newer biological therapies such as rituximab. Delays in the diagnosis of immunodeficiency predictably lead to preventable organ damage. Examples of abnormal pathology tests that suggest immunodeficiency from all laboratory specialities are given, where vigilant interpretation of abnormal results may prompt earlier diagnosis. If immunodeficiency is suspected, suggested directed testing could include measuring immunoglobulins, a lymphocyte count and T-cell and B-cell subsets.

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