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Editor's Correspondence
March 13, 2000

The Effect of Acute Severe Illness on CD4+ Lymphocyte Counts in Nonimmunocompromised Patients

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(5):715-716. doi:

The CD4+ lymphocyte count is a crucial parameter for the assessment of the integrity of the immune system of patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). T-lymphocyte counts are not static, however, and may be affected by a number of variables, including circadian rhythm,1 smoking,2 pregnancy,3 and immunization.4 In addition, a number of limited studies have suggested that infections and specific illnesses may also affect the CD4+ cell count14; thus, immune function evaluation of hospitalized HIV-positive patients is often deferred until recovery. There are no data addressing more broadly the effect of generalized severe illness on the lymphocyte profiles of non–HIV-infected patients. This prospective observational study was designed to evaluate lymphocyte subsets in an HIV-negative population that required intensive care unit admission during acute illness.

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