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February 12, 1982

T-Cell Subsets

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital Columbus, Ohio

JAMA. 1982;247(6):753. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320310017009

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To the Editor.—  I'm OKT3, you're OKT4... Dr Goodwin surely jests in his diatribe against the T-cell subsets as he bemoans the volume and triviality of these determinations. His complaints seem similar to those bandied about regularly when a new procedure points to new understanding of metabolic processes, requiring an intellectual adjustment.As for the plethora of articles on the subject of T cells, every new insight into body function leads to an initial accumulation of data to answer the basic three questions: What? When? Where? After these are tabulated the crucial questions How? and Why? can be addressed. Medical residents, who obviously make Dr Goodwin uneasy, are still close enough to the learning process to be both flexible in applying new techniques and curious in continuing to ask why.Identification of T-cell function may be closer to the reality of medicine than even Dr Goodwin's preferred creatinine clearance testing