Immunologic studies of peripheral blood lymphocytes and lymph nodes in Hodgkin’s disease

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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.



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