Synonyms: Antibody deficiency

Medical Specialties: Internal medicine, Medical genetics, Pulmonology

Clinical Definition

Hypogammaglobulinemia is a decreased level of immunoglobulins (i.e., antibodies). Because of the decrease in disease-fighting immunoglobulins, hypogammaglobulinemia can cause an increased susceptibility to certain diseases and infections. Although its etiology is not always known, it may be present from birth or acquired later in life.

In Our Own Words

Hypogammaglobulinemia is a condition in which decreased levels of antibodies are present. Normally, certain antibodies in the body help fight an infection or illness. In people who have hypogammaglobulinemia, there is a shortage of these antibodies, which often results in repeated infections and gastrointestinal and respiratory problems. Although the condition may develop later in life, it is often present from birth.

Relevant Conditions
  • Immune deficiency
Common Types
  • Transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy (THI)
Side Effects
  • Repeated infections
  • Respiratory problems
  • Failure to thrive (in infants)
Share this article
  • Kids Health. “Hypogammaglobulinemia.” http://kidshealth.org/parent/dictionary/h/az-hypogammaglobulinemia.html. Accessed February 2014.
  • Neighbors M., MD, Tannehill-Jones R., RN. “Human Diseases.” Cengage Learning 2005. Accessed February 2014.
  • Greenberg S., MD. “Hypogammaglobulinemia.” http://www.utoronto.ca/kids/Hypogam.htm. Accessed February 2014.

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