Transient IgG subclass deficiencies in newly diagnosed diabetic children

L. Cortona, M. A. Avanzini, M. Martinetti, R. Lorini

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In 27 children (15 males and 12 females) with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), aged 1.2-13.5 years (mean 9.9±3.6 years) we investigated immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM), IgG subclass levels and islet-cell antibodies (ICA) at diagnosis and at 6 and 12 months after disease onset. At diagnosis, IgG levels were lower than-2SD in 7 patients (26%), IgA in 1 (3.7%), IgM in 1 (3.7%). IgG subclass levels were below the 3rd percentile in 13 patients (48.1%); in particular IgG1 in 7 (26%), IgG2 in 3 (11.1%), IgG3 in 2 and IgG4 undetectable in 1 case. In 3 out of the 13 patients combined IgG1-IgG3, IgG1-IgG2 and IgG1-IgG4-IgA deficiencies were observed. ICA were >20 Juvenile Diabetes Foundation units in 17/27 patients. The HLA-DR2 frequency was higher in patients with IgG subclass deficiency than in patients with normal IgG subclass levels. During follow up, IgG levels normalized in 6 patients while IgA and IgM did not change. IgG1 normalized in 5 out of the 7 patients, IgG2 in all patients while IgG3 and IgG4 did not change. One year later ICA were still present in 8/27 patients. The hypogammaglobulinaemia and IgG subclass deficiencies observed in our patients could have either a genetic or an acquired basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-182
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992


  • HLA polymorphism
  • IgG subclasses
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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