What is the mortality and morbidity associated with cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Alan P Knutsen, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Persons with cartilage-hair hypoplasia may be subject to infections with opportunistic microorganisms, principally life-threatening varicella infections. In one report, approximately 88% of 108 Finnish patients with cartilage-hair hypoplasia had defective cellular immunity and 56% had increased susceptibility to infections. [20] Individuals with more severe impaired cellular immunity are more susceptible to malignancies, especially leukemia and lymphoma. In their series, the incidence rate of malignancies was 6%. The risk of infections and malignancies correlates with the severity of impaired T-cell immunity.

However, cartilage hair-hypoplasia is a rare cause of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). In a large series of 108 patients with SCID, only one patient with cartilage hair-hypoplasia was identified. [21] Individuals with cartilage hair-hypoplasia and SCID have a greater susceptibility to opportunistic infections, such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and graft versus host disease, and may succumb to overwhelming infections in infancy.

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