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CD4 lymphocyte (T helper cell) plays a major role in the regulation of the immune response. Decrease in number of CD4 lymphocyte, due to being infected and destroyed by human immunodeficiency virus (Hiv), is the key index for monitoring the stage of disease progression. The appropriate treatment thus can be given to the patients at the right time corresponding to the need of the patients. By direct immunofluorescence technique using monoclonal antibodies, CD4, CD8 lymphocyte and CD4/CD8 ratio were enumerated and calculated. In 37 normal healthy controls (male 20, female 17), aged 26 ± 5 years, the percentage of CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes were 38 ± 8 (range : 23-60) and 28 ± 7 (17-42), the absolute number of CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes were 956 ± 277 cell/mm3 (545 – 1504 cell/mm3 ) and 701 ± 252 (348-1416) respectively. The CD4/CD8 ratio was 1.42 ± 0.34 (0.72-2.48)
We have studied 61 HIV-infected cases by categorizing them into asymtomatic HIV infection, AIDS relaed complex (ARC), and the full-blown AIDS. The results were tabulated in table 2. The best prognostic index was the absolute number of CD4 lymphocyte which could also differentiate among the various stages of HIV-infected patients; asymptomatic HIV infection (623 ± 347; range : 92-1350), AIDS related complex (ARC) (347 ± 365; 35-1509) and the full blown AIDS (137 ± 130; 9-472).
Key words : CD4 lymphocyte, CD4/CD8 ratio, AIDS, Immunofluorescence