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What is Chronic Granulomatous Disease?

  • Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is an inherited immune system disorder that occurs when a type of white blood cell that usually helps the body fight infection, called a phagocyte, does not work properly. In CGD, the phagocytes can't kill germs that are ingested, and cannot protect the body from bacterial and fungal infections. Children with CGD are often healthy at birth, but develop severe infections in infancy and during early childhood. Rarely, and in milder forms of the disease, the diagnosis doesn't become clear for years or decades.

    Because they are unable to fight off infections, children with CGD often get very sick from bacteria that would cause no disease in a healthy child. Children with CGD may also develop masses of inflammatory tissue called granulomas in response to chronic infections. These granulomas usually develop in the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract. 

    CGD Treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

    Children with CGD are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Blood Disorders Center. Our Center provides comprehensive care for a wide range of non-malignant blood disorders, and our patients have access to some of the most advanced diagnostics and treatments available.

    Learn more

    Find in-depth information on chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to these questions:

    • What are the symptoms of CGD in children?
    • How is CGD diagnosed in children?
    • How is CGD treated in children?
    • How is the long-term outlook for children with CGD?