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Decreased serum levels of immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G in a patient with primary biliary cirrhosis: A case report

, : Decreased serum levels of immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G in a patient with primary biliary cirrhosis: A case report. Hepatology Research 44(10): E261-E266

Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a cholestatic liver disease with an elevated serum immunoglobulin (Ig)M level. Patients with PBC may develop extrahepatic manifestations, including hypogammaglobulinemia. However, hypogammaglobulinemia seldom occurs, and the associated changes of lymphocytes remain unknown. Furthermore, the impact of Ig on the progression of PBC is still unclear. Here, we describe a case of hypogammaglobulinemia developed in a female patient with PBC. The patient was diagnosed with PBC at the age of 46 years and treated with ursodeoxycholic acid and bezafibrate. At the age of 50 years, the patient developed bronchitis, and laboratory test results indicated a marked decrease in serum levels of IgA, IgM and IgG. Then, the patient was diagnosed as having idiopathic hypogammaglobulinemia and treated with Ig replacement therapy; however, respiratory infections recurred frequently, leading to the patient's death at the age of 53 years. An autopsy revealed hyperplastic bone marrow with CD3, CD20 and IgG positive lymphocytes. However, no CD79a, CD138, IgA and IgM positive lymphocytes were observed. Moreover, the severity of PBC progressed even after the onset of hypogammaglobulinemia. In addition, CD3 positive cells were seen around chronic non-suppurative destructive cholangitis in the autopsy specimen of the liver. Thus, the present case demonstrated changes of lymphocytes in hypogammaglobulinemia developed in patients with PBC. Furthermore, the clinical course of the present case of PBC may indicate that the Ig-mediated mechanisms may be non-essential for the progression of PBC.


PMID: 23890027

DOI: 10.1111/hepr.12211

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