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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2005 Jul;24(7):595-600.

Age-related standards for total lymphocyte, CD4+ and CD8+ T cell counts in children born in Europe.

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1
Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Currently used reference values for immunologic markers in children are largely derived from cross-sectional data from historic, small sample size studies in predominantly white children. There is a lack of reliable age-related standards for immunologic markers, such as CD4+ cell counts, in particular in black children whose values according to recent reports may differ from those in white children. Standards are essential for diagnosing and monitoring childhood diseases such as pediatric human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study with data on 1781 uninfected children born to HIV-infected mothers in the European Collaborative Study.

METHODS:

Age-related standards (centiles) for immunologic markers (CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts and total lymphocyte counts) up to 5 years in black and up to 10 years in white children were constructed using Generalized Additive Models for Location, Scale and Shape method, which allows for variability and skewness of the data. The optimal model was chosen according to the Akaike Information Criterion.

RESULTS:

Patterns and values of total lymphocyte, CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts varied with age, especially in the first 3 years of life, but less so thereafter. Values of all 3 immunologic markers were substantially and significantly lower in black than in white children of the same age.

CONCLUSIONS:

We present age-related standards separately for black and white children to aid clinicians in the monitoring of childhood diseases. These standards may also contribute to the decision on an accurate cutoff for CD4+ cell counts for initiating treatment of HIV-infected children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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