Modern management of chronic granulomatous disease


Seger RA

Date: 30 September 2008


Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare primary immunodeficiency disorder of phagocytic cells resulting in failure to kill a characteristic spectrum of bacteria and fungi and in defective degradation of inflammatory mediators with concomitant granuloma formation. Current prophylaxis with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, itraconazole and in selected cases additional interferon gamma is efficient, but imperfect. A significant recent progress towards new antibiotic (e.g. linezolid) and antifungal (e.g. voriconazole and posaconazole) therapy will allow survival of most patients into adulthood. Adolescent and adult CGD is increasingly characterized by inflammatory complications, such as granulomatous lung and inflammatory bowel disease, requiring immunosupressive therapy. Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a human leucocyte antigen identical donor is currently the only proven curative treatment for CGD and can be offered to the selected patients. Gene-replacement therapy for patients lacking a suitable stem cell donor is still experimental and faces major obstacles and risks. However, it may offer some transitory benefits and has helped in a few cases to overcome life-threatening infections.

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