My son Jacob has been diagnosed with CVID. This has been a difficult journey in his 5 years of life. He has currently started (8 weeks ago to be exact) SCIG, Sub-q. He transfuses 16ML of Vivaglobin every Friday. His transfusion takes around 1.5-2 hours through 1 site.
My goal for this blog is to help create a level of awareness and to document our journey. The first thing I did when Jacob got diagnosed was scour the internet for anything I could find from someone living the experience. I wanted real life experience not necessarily medical advice.
I want to post an information sheet I have put together from many different resources to help people understand CVID and what some of its signs and symptoms are.
Primary Immune Deficiency
CVID (Common Variable Immune Deficiency) is a disorder characterized by low levels of antibodies and an increased susceptibility to infections. CVID is the most common immunodeficiency, hence, the word common. However, CVID is registered with the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that CVID affects less than 200,000 people in the US population. The clinical signs and symptoms also may vary from severe to mild. Frequent and unusual infections may first occur during early childhood, adolescence or adult life. In the majority of patients, the diagnosis is not made until the 3rd or 4th decade of life. However, about 20% of the patients have symptoms of disease or are found to be immunodeficient under the age of 16.
The cause of CVID is unknown. In some cases, more than one individual in a family may be affected, while in other cases this is no not the case. There is a decrease in the number of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the affected person. Immunoglobulins are produced by the body and are necessary in fighting infections.
The following are the most common symptoms of CVID. However, each person may experience symptoms differently.
Recurrent infections that can affect the ears, sinuses, and lungs (the more these infections occur, the greater the risk of scarring and permanent damage to the lungs and breathing tubes) these infections respond poorly to antibiotic treatment
inflammation in the joints of the knees, ankles, elbows, or wrists
stomach and bowel disorders
increased risk of developing cancer
poor titer levels in response to vaccination
Other symptoms of CVID include:
chronic swelling of lymph glands
bacterial overgrowth of the intestine
Primary Immune Disease can be easily diagnosed by blood test ordered by an Allergy, Asthma & Immunologist. You can also request blood test be done on a newborn in the hospital.
The well know case of Immunodeficiency Disease is “The Bubble Boy Disease”. Medical treatment has improved that patients no longer live their life in a bubble. Patients can now receive several different treatment options. Treatment usually consists of immunoglobulin therapy, which is an infusion of human antibodies harvested from plasma donations. This is not a cure, but it strengthens immunity by ensuring the patient has “normal” levels of antibodies, which helps to prevent recurrent infections.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) done in a hospital setting, usually done every 3-4 weeks and takes 8 hours to infuse
subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) done at home, done every week and takes 2-8 hours to infuse depending on how many sites (needles) are used
intramuscular immunoglobulin (IMIG) not a popular treatment method, less effective and painful