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Phenotypes of peripheral blood T lymphocytes in rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Findings in patients with varying disease activity and clinical subgroups

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The percentage of T4 and T8 positive cells in peripheral blood of 78 patients with rhematoid arthritis (RA) and 26 patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) was determined using a rosette technique. The T4/T8 ratio ± SEM (standard error of the mean) in the RA patients was increased, 2.02±0.09, as compared with normal blood donors, 1.71±0.06 (p<0.02). The subgroups of RA patients who had a significantly increased T4/T8 ratio were ANA positive patients (p<0.02) and patients on no medication (p<0.05). In the total group of JRA patients the T4/T8 ratio was 2.01±0.12 versus 1.75±0.08 in controls (p=0.061). Polyarticular JRA patients had an increased T4/T8 ratio as compared with controls (p<0.05) while patients with the pauciarticular form had a normal ratio (p>0.10). No correlation between the T4/T8 ratio and a disease outcome index, a laboratory activity index, ESR, WBC, platelet count, hemoglobin, serum albumin, age and disease duration was found (K< ±0.20, p>0.10).

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Correspondence to J. Thoen.

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Thoen, J., Førre, Ø. Phenotypes of peripheral blood T lymphocytes in rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Findings in patients with varying disease activity and clinical subgroups. Clin Rheumatol 7, 188–196 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02204453

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Key words

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Helper Cells
  • Suppressor Cells
  • Immunoregulation