The ability of lymphocytes to form rosettes with sheep erythrocytes was studied in the acute burn period to quantitate T lymphocytes. Seventeen adult patients with burns of greater than 15% body surface area were studied serially and compared to normal controls. The absolute number of total rosette-forming cells (RFC) averaged 1,229.1±92.8/cu mm (SEM) for controls. In patients, a conspicuous decrease in absolute number of total RFC occurred at days 3 to 5 postburn (578.0±144.2/cu mm) (P <.001) and during days 6 to 10 (799.8±106.1/cu mm) (P <.01). Similarly, the percentage total RFC in patients at days 6 to 10 (48.9%±3.3%) was significantly lower than controls (73.9%±0.7%) (P <.01). The decrease in total RFC did not correlate with the total lymphocyte count or the cortisol level. These findings suggest that T lymphocytes are decreased or have altered rosette-forming ability in the early postburn period and are in accordance with other reports of impaired cellular immunity following burns.
(JAMA 238:493-496, 1977)
Neilan BA, Taddeini L, Strate RG. T Lymphocyte Rosette Formation After Major Burns. JAMA. 1977;238(6):493–496. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280060037017
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