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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1983 Oct;107(10):518-23.

Age-related changes in T- and B-lymphocyte subpopulations in the peripheral blood.


Quantitation of T and B lymphocytes in infants and children is an important test in the diagnosis of a suspected immuno-deficiency. Previous studies indicated that the absolute and relative numbers of lymphocyte subpopulations vary with age, but these data in the pediatric age group are incomplete and often contradictory. We reviewed the literature and investigated the relationship between age and lymphocyte subpopulations in healthy infants and children using common methods and recent methodologic improvements. We found that absolute numbers of T and B cells followed the same trend as the total lymphocyte count, which was elevated at birth, increased in the first six months, and then gradually decreased to adult levels at approximately 13 years of age. Compared with adult values, the percentage of B cells also was higher at birth and continued to increase for six months, followed by a gradual decrease to adult levels by late childhood or early adolescence. The percentage of T cells gradually increased to adult levels by the same age range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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