Referral Center for Primary Immune Deficiencies in Adults: Its Stepwise Development at the Department of Immunology- Histocompatibility, Evagelismos General Hospital
The Department of Immunology-Histocompatibility of “Evagelismos” Hospital since its beginning in 1978 showed an interest for the study of patients with primary immunodeficiencies. The cases referred and diagnosed in the Department were mainly adult patients with primary antibody deficiencies. As the number of these cases increased, the development of a Referral Center was begun. In 1999 The Central Health Council of Greece approved the establishment of a “Specialized Center for adult cases with primary immunodeficiencies” as part of the Department of Immunology-Histocompatibility. However, it was only in 2007 that the Center was officially recognized by the Ministry of Health. The services provided by the Center included among others complete laboratory investigation for the diagnosis and classification of primary immunodeficiency, an outpatient clinic, collaboration with other departments of the hospital for the replacement therapy of patients with intravenous infusions of immunoglobulin and their hospitalization for various complications of their disease. During 42 years of follow up, 208 cases with primary antibody deficiency were diagnosed which included 92 cases with common variable immunodeficiency, 78 with selective IgA-deficiency, 24 with IgG subclass deficiency, and 14 with IgA and IgG subclass deficiency. The building of a Registry of these patients according to the procedures outlined by the European Society for Immunodeficiencies had been started but it has not yet been completed. For its optimal function, this Center should be supported by the State in order to have the necessary specialized staff for the management of patients and a better organization for their hospitalization according to their needs.
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