MADS MELBYE, M. D.; ROBERT J. BIGGAR, M.D.; PETER EBBESEN, M.D.; CAROLYN NEULAND, Ph.D.; JAMES J. GOEDERT, M.D.; VIGGO FABER, M.D.; IB LORENZEN, M.D.; PETER SKINHØJ, M.D.; ROBERT C. GALLO, M.D.; WILLIAM A. BLATTNER, M.D.
The long-term effects of seropositivity for human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) on T-lymphocyte subsets and health status were evaluated in longitudinal studies of 250 initially healthy homosexual men. The relative risk of having an inverted T-lymphocyte helper-to-suppressor ratio rose from 14.3-fold among short-term seropositive subjects (less than 19 months) to 46.9-fold among long-term seropositive subjects (greater than 29 months) in comparison with the risk among seronegative subjects. Overall, 91.7% of long-term seropositive men had inverted ratios, compared with 12.9% of seronegative men. None of the seropositive men who developed an inverted ratio later reestablished a normal ratio. Both decreased T-helper cell number and percentage (p = 0.003) and increased T-suppressor cell number and percentage (p = 0.03) were significantly correlated with duration of seropositivity. Among seropositive persons, lymphadenopathy was a highly significant short-term as well as long-term consequence, whereas diarrhea, oral thrush, and herpes zoster were correlated with long-term seropositivity. Overall, 50% of long-term seropositive men compared with 16% of seronegative men developed at least one of five clinical symptoms (p < 0.003). We conclude that a high proportion of persons infected with HTLV-III will develop measurable immunologic and clinical abnormalities.
MELBYE M, BIGGAR RJ, EBBESEN P, et al. Long-Term Seropositivity for Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type III in Homosexual Men Without the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Development of Immunologic and Clinical Abnormalities: A Longitudinal Study. Ann Intern Med. 1986;104:496–500. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-104-4-496
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(4):496-500.
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