Bone Metabolism Alterations in Patients with Common Variable Immune Deficiency: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Gökhan Aytekin
Fatih Çölkesen
Eray Yıldız
Şevket Arslan
Ahmet Zafer Çalışkaner


Objective: Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a relatively frequent primary immunodeficiency disorder characterized by impaired B cell differentiation with hypogammaglobulinemia in the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID) registry system. Increased inflammatory cytokines, prolonged and/or recurrent infections, gastrointestinal complications, and anti-inflammatory medications are risk factors for diminished bone mineral density (BMD) in CVID patients.

Materials and Methods: The study group included 32 patients with CVID (19 males and 13 females; mean age: 37.33 ± 13.70 years, 40.6% female), who had been followed up on a regular basis for a period of four years. The patients were categorized into two groups according to their BMD: low BMD and normal BMD.

Results: Seventeen patients (8 females and 9 males) had normal BMD (mean age 34.94 ± 11.41 years, 47.1% female) and fifteen patients (5 females and 10 males) had low BMD (mean age 40.03 ± 15.87 years, 33.3% female). In the low BMD group, three patients had osteoporosis and 12 patients had osteopenia. Univariate regression analysis revealed that lymphopenia (odds ratio, OR:6.562, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.095-39.324, p=0.039) was significantly associated with low BMD. Multivariate regression analysis showed that higher alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels (OR:1.017, 95% CI 1.001-1.033, p=0.041), lymphopenia (OR:11.028, 95% CI 1.326-91.709, p=0.026), and lower folic acid levels (OR:1.284, 95% CI 1.007-1.637, p=0.043) were also independent predictors for low BMD.

Conclusion: Even with some limitations such as the small number for the study population, a single center experience, and a crosssectional design, we recommend that clinical immunologists should be alert for diminished BMD in CVID patients, especially those with low folic acid and high ALP levels and lymphopenia.


Bone mineral density, common variable immune deficiency, hypogammaglobulinemia, lymphopenia
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