Corticosteroid therapy for refractory infections in chronic granulomatous disease: case reports and review of the literature

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006 Aug;97(2):257-61. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60023-3.


Background: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a primary phagocyte immunodeficiency. It is often accompanied by an exuberant and aberrant inflammatory response, with granulomata and obstruction of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts and inflammatory bowel disease. Although corticosteroids are successful in managing the obstructive and inflammatory disorders of CGD, they are not ordinarily used for the management of infection because of the possibility of further compromising the patient's immune system.

Objectives: To discuss the pros and cons of the use of corticosteroids for the treatment of infections in CGD.

Methods: We describe 2 patients with CGD and refractory infections who were successfully treated with systemic corticosteroids in addition to antimicrobial agents. We also review the medical literature in which corticosteroids have been used for CGD infection.

Results: Our cases add to 3 other reports in which antibiotics and corticosteroids were used successfully in patients with CGD. However, in the presence of a potential pathogen, notably, aspergilla, corticosteroids may mask or favor dissemination of the fungus, especially in adults.

Conclusions: Corticosteroids may play an important adjunctive role in CGD refractory infections.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchopneumonia / drug therapy*
  • Bronchopneumonia / etiology
  • Bronchopneumonia / microbiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / complications
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use
  • Liver Abscess / drug therapy*
  • Liver Abscess / etiology
  • Male
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Prednisone
  • Hydrocortisone