Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is when a specific gene from both parents passes to the child. This gene causes phagocytic
cells to develop
in the immune system. Phagocytic cells normally kill bacteria. With this disease, these cells cannot work properly. As a result, the body cannot fight some types of bacteria. It also makes infections likely to return.
CGD is a rare condition.
The disease is caused by one of 4 genes. Three of the genetic defects are recessive. This means 2 of these defective genes have to be present for the disease to develop—1 from each parent. The other gene is located on the X chromosome. It is transmitted from mother to son.
CGD is more common in men.
Having parents who have the recessive trait increases a child's risk of CGD.
Typically, symptoms begin to appear in childhood. In some, they may not appear until the teen years.
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Frequent skin infections that are resistant to treatment, such as:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include:
You doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent and treat infections.
Bone Marrow Transplantation
Bone marrow transplantation may be an option. A suitable donor will need to be found. It is a definitive cure.
Surgery may involve the removal of abscesses.
Some live viral vaccines should be avoided. You should talk to your doctor before receiving one.
CGD is an inherited disease. There are no preventive steps to reduce the risk of being born with the disease. Genetic counseling may be helpful. It can be used to detect carrier status in woman. Early diagnosis is vital. It will allow for early treatment. The bone marrow transplant donor search can also be started.
Bernhisel-Broadbent J, Camargo EE, et al. Recombinant human interferon-gamma as adjunct therapy for Aspergillus infection in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease. J Infect Dis. 1991;163(4):908-911.
Chronic granulomatous disease. Genetics Home Reference website. Available at: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/chronic-granulomatous-disease. Updated January 2016. Accessed December 27, 2017.
Chronic granulomatous disease and other phagocytic cell disorders. Immune Deficiency Foundation website. Available at: http://primaryimmune.org/about-primary-immunodeficiencies/specific-disease-types/chronic-granulomatous-disease-and-other-phagocytic-cell-disorders/. Accessed December 27, 2017.
Dinauer MC, Lekstrom-Himes JA, et al. Inherited Neutrophil Disorders: Molecular Basis and New Therapies. Hematology. 2000;303.
Lekstrom-Himes JA, Gallin JI. Immunodeficiency diseases caused by defects in phagocytes. N Engl J Med. 2000; 343:1703.
Pogrebniak HW, Gallin JI, et al. Surgical management of pulmonary infections in chronic granulomatous disease of childhood. Ann Thorac Surg. 1993;55(4):844-849.
Last reviewed November 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
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