The Significance of B-cell Subsets in Patients with Unclassified Hypogammaglobulinemia and Association with Intravenous Immunoglobulin Replacement Requirement

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Dr. Behcet Uz Children's Hospital, Izmir, Turkey

Abstract

Background: Patients with unclassified hypogammaglobulinemia (UCH) constitute a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma, because information concerning the clinical and immunological characteristics of these patients is insufficient. Objective: To evaluate B-cell subsets in cases with UCH and common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) and their association with treatment requirement in UCH patients. Methods: The study included 41 UCH, 25 CVID, and 36 healthy individuals between the ages of 4-18 years. Results: The absolute count of total memory and switched memory B-cells were lower in the CVID cases in comparison to the control group. Additionally, the absolute count of marginal zone-like B cells in the 4-10 year age group, and the absolute count of switched plasmablasts in the 10-18 year age group were lower in CVID cases when compared to both the control and UCH groups. The UCH group was categorized based on IVIG replacement therapy. Therefore, the percentage of switched memory B cells was significantly lower in the IVIG-receiving group (10.6% ± 3.10%) compared to the control group (14.0% ± 5.60%). However, there was no significant difference between the IVIG-receiving group and the CVID group. Regarding the comparison of the non-IVIG replacement group and the CVID group, the absolute count of total memory B cells, marginal zone-like B cells, and switched memory B cells were significantly higher in the UCH group. Conclusion: B-lymphocyte subsets in UCH cases that did not require IVIG replacement were similar to the control group. On the other hand, the percentage of switched memory B-cells in the UCH cases that required IVIG replacement was not different from that of the CVID cases.