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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Mar;111(3):573-9.

Long-term assessment of T-cell populations in DiGeorge syndrome.

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Allergy and Immunology Section, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.



Patients with DiGeorge syndrome present with a broad range of T-cell deficiency. Partial DiGeorge syndrome (pDGS) is a preferred designation for patients with detectable T-cell function. Among immunology experts, there is no uniform opinion on the necessity of T-cell precautions for pDGS patients. Few studies have addressed the natural course of their immune function over time.


The objective of this study was to describe the natural history of immune parameters in pDGS.


We reviewed the medical records of 45 pDGS patients. Peripheral blood T-cell subsets counts and percentages were recorded at 1, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 48, 60, 72, 96, and 120 months of age, and the rates of change of T-cell measurements over the follow-up period (slopes) were calculated for each individual. Humoral immunity was evaluated by quantification of immunoglobulins and by testing antibody titers to recall antigens.


T-cell subsets counts from pDGS patients were generally lower than those of age-matched normal populations but were not severely depressed (ie, CD4+ T-cell percentage less than 15%). The median of the slopes for CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T-cell percentages were -0.7%, -0.8%, and -0.1%/month, respectively, in the first year of age and 0.1%/month for each subpopulation from 12 to 120 months of age. Lymphoproliferative responses to phytohemagglutinin were adequate at all ages. Immunoglobulin deficiencies or inadequate production of specific antibodies were not detected.


In our pDGS patient cohort, a significant deterioration of T-cell number or function did not occur over time. Clinical implications of this finding include the possibility of discontinuing T-cell deficiency precautions and frequency of reevaluations of pDGS patients with stable and adequate immune function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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