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Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy (Pediatric)

What is Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy?

In Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy, the baby’s immunoglobulin levels are low. Starting at about the sixth month of pregnancy, the fetus starts to receive maternal immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody through the placenta. This increases during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Therefore, this disorder is more likely to occur if a baby is born prematurely. The IgG from the mother is important because it protects the baby from many infections in the first months of life.

What are the symptoms of Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy?

Infants with transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy normally display symptoms between 6 and 12 months after birth, but it is possible to display symptoms before 6 months or after 12 months. The main symptoms of transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy is frequent and recurrent middle ear, sinus and bronchial infections.

Though unusual, life threatening infections can arise from polysaccharide-encapsulated bacteria, such as pneumococcus (causes pneumonia), meningococcus (causes meningitis), and Salmonella enterica (responsible for typhoid, amongst others).

How is transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy treated?

If the baby experiences no symptoms or infections, then clinical observation and counseling may be sufficient.

For infants with recurrent or persistent infections, especially prompt treatment with antibiotics is recommended. There also could be restrictions regarding the timing of some (but not all) types of vaccines, particularly the live viral vaccines.

Immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy usually is not necessary.