Which histologic findings are characteristic of the workup of hypogammaglobulinemia?

Updated: Dec 26, 2018
  • Author: Elizabeth A Secord, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Lymph node biopsy is not a necessary diagnostic test in these disorders and can be complicated by poor healing and infection. However, it should be considered for rapidly enlarging lymph nodes to rule out infection or malignancy.

Rectal biopsy in CVID and IgA deficiency may show plasma cell and lymphoid cell infiltrate in rectal tissue. The presence of G lamblia or cryptosporidia can be documented via intestinal biopsy, which may show findings similar to sprue.

Thymus biopsy is indicated only in the presence of thymoma.

In XLA, lymph node biopsy reveals underdeveloped or rudimentary germinal centers. The same finding also can be documented in the tonsils, Peyer patches, and appendix.

In CVID, lymphoid follicles in lymph nodes, spleen, and gut are characterized by hyperplastic B-cell areas.

The thymus in patients with X-linked SCID resembles fetal thymus and is characterized by lobules of undifferentiated epithelial cells and depleted T-cell areas and, occasionally, both T-cell and B-cell areas.

In ADA deficiency, remnants of Hassall bodies can be seen in the thymus.

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