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Selective Immunoglobulin A Deficiency and Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: A Family Study

D. ROBERT WEBB, M.D.; and JOHN J. CONDEMI, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to D. Robert Webb, M.D., Department of Medicine, The Mason Clinic, 1118 Ninth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101.


Seattle, Washington, and Rochester, New York


Ann Intern Med. 1974;80(5):618-621. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-80-5-618
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A 43-year-old woman with far-advanced chronic obstructive lung disease had selective IgA deficiency. Twenty-eight members of her large family were studied; IgA deficiency was found in 6, and 7 others had borderline levels. Serum immunoglobulins G, M, and E were normal, as were alpha-1 antitrypsin levels. Clinical emphysema was found in the proband's mother and two brothers. Intermediate inheritance of IgA deficiency in this family is suggested by a history of consanguinity and intermediate levels of IgA in numerous family members; however, several obligate heterozygous individuals have normal levels. A relation between immunoglobulin deficiency and chronic obstructive lung disease would fit the hypothesis of a proteolytic cause for this disease.

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