Testing & Diagnosis for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) in Children

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Contact the Division of Allergy and Immunology

How is SCID diagnosed?

A diagnosis of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) is usually based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. In addition, multiple blood tests—including a complete blood cell count—may be ordered to help confirm the diagnosis. The Division of Allergy and Immunology at Boston Children's Hospital is one of the world's leading centers in the diagnosis and treatment of SCID.

Newborn screening also plays an important role in detecting SCID before symptoms emerge. A growing number of states test for SCID as part of a mandated newborn screening process. Having a screening performed is especially important, because many infants with SCID show no signs until they actually develop an infection.

Screening does have its limitations. A positive result for SCID on a newborn screen is not the same as a conclusive diagnosis, and screening does not catch all children with SCID and SCID variants. However, it is an important means by which children who may have SCID can be detected early.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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