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Am J Med. 1985 Jun;78(6 Pt 1):951-6.

Analysis of T cell subsets in different clinical subgroups of patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Comparison with the "classic" form of Kaposi's sarcoma.


Ninety patients were grouped according to three different forms of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): Kaposi's sarcoma "recent outbreak" type (38), reactive lymphadenopathy (27), and opportunistic infections (17), and a fourth group of patients with "classic" Kaposi's sarcoma (8). All patients with "classic" Kaposi's sarcoma were previously treated with electron-beam irradiation. These four groups were compared with 40 normal control subjects. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated by density separation were reacted with a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies that recognizes all peripheral blood T cells (OKT3-positive), helper (OKT4-positive), and suppressor (OKT8-positive) T cell subsets. The OKT4/OKT8 ratio was used to define the balance between these two subsets. All three groups with AIDS with or without Kaposi's sarcoma showed a decrease in the OKT4/OKT8 ratio. The group with "classic" Kaposi's sarcoma showed individual T cell subset values that were also abnormal. These findings confirm the previously reported imbalance of T cell subsets in patients with AIDS and Kaposi's sarcoma, which is also evident in patients with treated "classic" Kaposi's sarcoma.

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