SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

View all Images (11)

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome in Child

Contributors: Andrina Mamo BS, Eric Ingerowski MD, FAAP, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked recessive disease affecting males almost exclusively. WAS consists of 3 main features: thrombocytopenia with resultant bleeding / bruising, immunodeficiencies including both B-cell and T-cell abnormalities with resultant fungal, viral, and bacterial infections, and severe atopic dermatitis (usually begins in the first few months of life). The most common presenting symptoms of easy bruising, petechiae, and purpura are often noted at birth and are the manifestations of platelet abnormalities which include thrombocytopenia and abnormally small and dysfunctional platelets. These platelet abnormalities can lead to bloody diarrhea.

Viral (warts, herpes, and molluscum) and bacterial infections occur frequently in infancy and early childhood, most commonly bacterial otitis media, sinusitis, pneumonias, impetigo, cellulitis, and abscesses. Furthermore, WAS patients have a high prevalence of food allergies, asthma, and urticaria. Up to 70% of patients are also found to have autoimmune disorders, including cytopenias, arthritis, and vasculitis. Milder forms of WAS have been described that do not involve the typical immunodeficiencies.

WAS may be further complicated by the development of lymphoreticular malignancies (especially non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Epstein-Barr virus-induced lymphomas) and leukemia in childhood.

Females may have the syndrome due to nonrandom X-chromosome inactivation.


D82.0 – Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

36070007 – Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Hyperimmunoglobulinemia E syndrome
  • Omenn syndrome
  • Netherton syndrome
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • IPEX syndrome

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:06/02/2021
Last Updated:05/10/2023
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome in Child
A medical illustration showing key findings of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome : Bloody diarrhea, Fine scaly plaque, Flexural distribution, Ecchymosis, PLT decreased
Clinical image of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome - imageId=64668. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Scaly erythematous, eczematous papules and plaques on the lower abdomen.'
Scaly erythematous, eczematous papules and plaques on the lower abdomen.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.