Immunoglobulin levels in haemophiliacs at HIV seroconversion and during follow up
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Immunoglobulins and aminotransferases were followed in 66 haemophilia patients and 13 von Willebrand patients over a six-year period. The results were correlated to HIV serology and lymphocyte subsets. Elevated IgG levels were found in 29/53 patients with haemophilia A, 2/13 with haemophilia B and in 0/13 with von Willebrand's disease. Elevated IgA and IgM levels were seen in 20% and 27% of the patients respectively, with a distribution similar to the elevated IgG levels, except that elevated IgA and IgM levels were also seen in 4/13 patients with von Willebrand's disease. Patients with HIV antibodies had significantly higher immunoglobulin levels than seronegative patients, and this elevation occurred in connection with seroconversion in the majority of the former. The IgG levels could not be correlated to the T4 cell count, but there has been a trend to less clinical symptoms related to HIV infection among those with stable IgG levels during the past few years. No correlation was found between elevated IgG levels and the aminotransferase levels, nor was any correlation found with the amount of blood coagulation factor concentrate given to the patients. The elevation of immunoglobulins observed in our haemophiliacs is multifactorial, but HIV infection is maybe the most important mechanism. The longitudinal IgG pattern may contribute to the prediction of the clinical outcome of this infection.
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