Thoracic manifestations of primary humoral immunodeficiency: a comprehensive review

Radiographics. 2009 Nov;29(7):1909-20. doi: 10.1148/rg.297095717.


Humoral immunodeficiencies, which are characterized by defective production of antibodies, are the most common types of primary immunodeficiency. Pulmonary changes are present in as many as 60% of patients with humoral immunodeficiency. Chronic changes and recurrent infections in the respiratory airways are the main causes of morbidity and mortality in those affected by a humoral immunodeficiency. Medical imaging, especially computed tomography (CT), plays a crucial role in the initial detection and characterization of changes and in monitoring the response to therapy. The spectrum of abnormalities seen at thoracic imaging includes noninfectious airway disorders, infections, chronic lung diseases, chronic inflammatory conditions (granulomatosis, interstitial pneumonias), and benign and malignant neoplasms. Recognition of characteristic CT and radiographic features, and correlation of those features with clinical and laboratory findings, are necessary to differentiate between the many possible causes of parenchymal and mediastinal disease seen in patients with primary humoral immunodeficiencies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Thoracic Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thoracic Diseases / immunology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*