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The Latest Medical Advancements in Tests and Treatment for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

Board-certified immunologists at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital are up-to-date on the latest newborn tests and treatment for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). SCID is a set of more than a dozen different genetic disorders, all of which result in a failure to develop T cells and inability to make protective antibodies. If a newborn has SCID, our highly trained physicians have extensive training and expertise in treating this disorder.

Newborns with SCID Appear Healthy

Most newborns with SCID appear healthy at first because the mother’s immune system protects them from infections for the first few weeks of life. However, without SCID treatment, even common infections become life-threatening. Although SCID is considered rare, it is believed that approximately 1 in about 50,000 people are affected.

Diagnosing and Treating SCID at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

The Ohio Department of Health performs a newborn screening panel on all infants. On July 29, 2013, the panel was expanded to include a simple blood test that can determine if a newborn may have SCID or another condition resulting in a low T cell count. A full diagnostic evaluation by a UH immunologist can then confirm the diagnosis and determine the appropriate life-saving treatment. Learn more about our newborn screening program.

The most effective treatment for SCID is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, which can be performed at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, in Cleveland, Ohio. The ideal donor is a tissue matched relative. The transplant is done soon after birth and has a very high success rate when done early in life.

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