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Blood. 1998 Sep 1;92(5):1799-806.

Lymphocyte subset analysis and glycosylphosphatidylinositol phenotype in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

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  • 1Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Service, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, LS1 3EX, UK.


Using multicolor flow-cytometry we have examined 19 patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) (18 with active disease and 1 spontaneous remitter) to determine absolute numbers of lymphocyte subsets and the proportion of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-deficient clones amongst these subpopulations. Lymphocyte subsets were abnormal in all patients; the most frequent findings were low absolute numbers of natural killer (NK) cells (median, 0.08 x 10(9)/L; normal range, 0.2 to 0.4 x 10(9)/L) and low absolute numbers of B cells (median, 0.05 x 10(9)/L; normal range, 0.06 to 0.65 x 10(9)/L). GPI-deficient B, T, and NK cells were identified in 88%, 84%, and 89% of patients, respectively. The proportion of GPI-deficient cells within individual lymphoid lineages was highly variable, though in most patients the percentage of GPI-deficient NK cells was considerably higher than B or T cells. These observations can be explained when mechanisms of normal lymphopoiesis are considered. Despite these quantitative and qualitative abnormalities, no patients suffered an excessive number or severity of infections. The detection of PNH clones amongst all lymphocyte lineages may provide important information regarding the natural history of the disease and additional insights into kinetics of adult lymphopoiesis.

Copyright 1998 by The American Society of Hematology.

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