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Br J Haematol. 1984 Sep;58(1):95-105.

Analysis of lymphocyte subsets in patients with aplastic anaemia.


Lymphocyte subsets have been measured in the blood of 28 patients with aplastic anaemia. The mean helper/inducer:suppressor/cytotoxic T lymphocyte ratio (1.24 +/- 0.74) was significantly decreased in the total population in comparison to mean ratios in a normal population (1.78 +/- 0.57) and in patients with other haematological diseases (1.82 +/- 0.92). A reversed ratio (less than or equal to 1) was present in a large proportion (53%) of aplastic patients, due both to an absolute deficiency of helper/inducer lymphocytes and an increase in suppressor/cytotoxic lymphocytes. Increased HLA-DR expression, evidence of lymphocyte activation, was present in seven of 12 patients evaluated and was confined to the suppressor/cytotoxic lymphocyte population. In the bone marrow, the percentage of lymphocytes was increased two-fold compared to normal bone marrow but the ratio of T cell subsets was not abnormal. Two of four patients evaluated after haematopoietic recovery following ATG treatment showed a return to normal of the T4/T8 ratio; in two others a low T4/T8 ratio persisted despite recovery. These results indicate that lymphocyte subset imbalance and lymphocyte activation are present in many patients with aplastic anaemia, either as a contributing factor or as a result of bone marrow failure.

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