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Lymphocyte Subsets in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

KENNETH B. MILLER, M.D.; GRACE H. ELTA, M.D.; RICHARD A. RUDDERS, M.D.; and MARSHALL M. KAPLAN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: In part by NTH Research Training Grant AM 07024; Clinical Study Unit Grant RR 300054; and a contract with the Becton-Dickinson Corp. , Mountainview, California.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Marshall M. Kaplan, M.D.; Gastroenterology Division, Tufts-New England Medical Center; 171 Harrison Avenue; Boston, MA 02111.


Boston, Massachusetts


© 1984 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(3):385-387. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-100-3-385
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To ascertain whether abnormalities of circulating T-cell subsets are a cause or effect of primary biliary cirrhosis, we analyzed peripheral blood lymphocytes from 44 patients at various stages of disease. The percentages of total T cells and helper/inducer cells were normal in early disease whereas the percentage of suppressor/inducer cells was increased. The percentage of all T-cell subsets fell steadily as the disease progressed histologically. The percentages in late (cirrhotic) disease were the same as those in patients with other types of cirrhosis. We conclude that most of the previously reported abnormalities of circulating T cells are secondary to the histologic progression of primary biliary cirrhosis.

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