• immunodeficiency;
  • infection;
  • X-linked;
  • thrombocytopenia

Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a combined cellular and humoral X-linked immunodeficiency, is generally considered to be rare. The aim of this study was to ascertain the true prevalence in the paediatric population in Western Australia, describe the clinical features, and summarise the current literature on this unusual condition. All cases of Wiskott Aldrich syndrome presenting to Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth during the period from January 1960 to January 1990 were identified by a retrospective review of case records and by interviewing hospital immunology, haematology and general clinical staff. Nine cases of Wiskott Aldrich syndrome are described, demonstrating that the prevalence of Wiskott Aldrich syndrome in Western Australia is nine times that expected from previous reports. Death occurred in a number of patients before the correct diagnosis was recognised. The clinical features in this group are quite variable. Low isohaemagglutinins, elevated IgE, blunted DTH skin multitest, and very low CDS numbers are however consistent features. Wiskott Aldrich syndrome may be more prevalent than previously recognised, and should be considered in males with thrombocytopenia and infection.