Clinical Manifestations and Pathophysiological Mechanisms of the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

J Clin Immunol. 2018 Jan;38(1):13-27. doi: 10.1007/s10875-017-0453-z. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare X-linked disorder originally described by Dr. Alfred Wiskott in 1937 and Dr. Robert Aldrich in 1954 as a familial disease characterized by infections, bleeding tendency, and eczema. Today, it is well recognized that the syndrome has a wide clinical spectrum ranging from mild, isolated thrombocytopenia to full-blown presentation that can be complicated by life-threatening hemorrhages, immunodeficiency, atopy, autoimmunity, and cancer. The pathophysiology of classic and emerging features is being elucidated by clinical studies, but remains incompletely defined, which hinders the application of targeted therapies. At the same time, progress of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and gene therapy offer optimistic prospects for treatment options aimed at the replacement of the defective lymphohematopoietic system that have the potential to provide a cure for this rare and polymorphic disease.

Keywords: Thrombocytopenia; X-chromosome; atopy; autoimmunity; immunodeficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmunity
  • Eczema
  • Genes, X-Linked / genetics*
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Infections
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neoplasms
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome / genetics
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome / therapy
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein / genetics*


  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein