Immunologic studies of peripheral blood lymphocytes and lymph nodes in Hodgkin’s disease
James R. Cunningham, M.D.
Ronald M. Bukowski, M.D.
Rafael Valenzuela, M.D.
Raymond Tubbs, D.O.
Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and lymph nodes from patients with newly diagnosed and untreated Hodgkin’s disease were studied to determine the distribution of T lymphocytes. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting of PBL was performed on 11 out of 12 patients using monoclonal antibodies to lymphocyte differentiation antigens. A reduction in T lymphocytes (anti-T3) was found in 5 patients, a reduction of T4 lymphocytes was found in 3 patients, and an increase in the PBL T8 cells occurred in 1 patient. In three cases, the T4 :T8 PBL ratio was decreased. Complete staging was performed on all 12 patients. No correlation between clinical stage and T-cell subpopulations was apparent. Evidence of sustained immune depletion was found in 1 patient at relapse. Efforts to monitor immune function in Hodgkin’s disease should continue and may provide a data base from which immunopathologic staging can be developed.