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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Chronic granulomatous disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Granulomatous disease, chronic
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Your Question

The information I have read said that most infections occur in younger people. I have not had any major problems until now at 56 years of age. Should I be under a doctors care regularly? Am I a candidate for disability?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is chronic granulomatous disease?

Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a rare, inherited, primary immune deficiency disorder that affects certain white blood cells. It is characterized by an inability to resist repeated infectious diseases and a tendency to develop chronic inflammation. Symptoms usually begin in infancy or childhood and include life-threatening recurrent fungal and bacterial infections affecting the skin, lungs, and bones; swollen areas of inflamed tissues known as granulomas; and other symptoms. It is caused by mutations in any one of four different genes and is usually inherited in an autosomal recessive or X-linked recessive manner. Treatment consists of continuous antibiotic therapy to help prevent infections and corticosteroid drugs for treating granulomatous complications.[1]
Last updated: 5/12/2011

Is it uncommon for symptoms of chronic granulomatous disease to begin in adulthood?

Signs and symtpoms of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) usually present in childhood, often before the age of five.[2] However, a growing number of people with CGD are being diagnosed in later childhood or adulthood. This may be due in part to better detection of mild cases and the inadvertent treatment of CGD-associated infections with potent antimicrobials.[2]
Last updated: 9/28/2011

What level of medical follow-up is required for people with active chronic granulomatous disease?

In general, diagnosis and treatment of infections in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) must be aggressive. Antimicrobial prophylaxis and aggressive recognition and treatment of infections has reduced the rate of serious complications and death in people with CGD.[3] We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider regarding establishing a plan for follow-up. Frequency of follow-up will depend on the severity of your condition and frequency of CGD infections. Early diagnosis of infection is important, so report any signs and symptoms of infection to your doctor right away.
Last updated: 9/28/2011

Are people with chronic granulomatous disease eligible for disability?

Eligibility for disability depends not on diagnosis, but degree of condition involvement and impairment. For further information regarding your eligibility, you may find it helpful to speak with a social worker at your local hospital.  In addition, the following resource may be helpful: provides quick and easy access to comprehensive information about disability programs, services, laws and benefits. You can search for medical resources by state at the following link. Select your state from the drop down menu (located on the left hand side of the page) then select “Health.”  

Last updated: 9/28/2011