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J Neuroimmunol. 1984 Apr;6(2):115-21.

Altered blood T-cell subsets in patients with multiple sclerosis.


We have found an alteration in T-cell subsets in patients with active multiple sclerosis, specifically an increase in the T4:T8 ratio. These findings have been reproducibly obtained over the past four years, occurring in the majority of acute patients tested early in the course of an attack and in between 25 and 40% of chronic progressive patients, depending on their stage of illness. These changes correlate with pleocytosis in spinal fluid and with other abnormalities of immune function, such as spontaneous immunoglobulin production. They have been helpful in assessing disease activity in patients being treated on a variety of protocols and as part of research studies of immunoregulatory abnormality in multiple sclerosis, but have not been helpful as a diagnostic test for multiple sclerosis. The decrease of these cells in the peripheral blood of patients with active disease may be secondary to migration of these cells to the central nervous system, where they are sequestered.

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