The Levels of T Lymphocyte Subsets in Immune Thrombocytopenia Associated with Anti-GPIIb/IIIa- and/or Anti-GPIbα-Mediated Responses Are Differentially Sensitive to Dexamethasone


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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this work was to investigate the influence of T lymphocyte subsets and platelet-specific autoantibodies on immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) with dexamethasone therapy. Methods: The samples were obtained from patients before therapy. T lymphocyte subsets were measured by flow cytometry, and platelet-specific autoantibodies were evaluated by modified monoclonal antibody immobilization of platelet antigen assay. Results: A total of 50 ITP patients were involved in the study. Twenty-three were anti-GPIbα antibody positive and were treated with dexamethasone, with a response rate of 47.8%. Twenty-seven cases were anti-GPIbα antibody negative, with a response rate of 77.8%. A significant difference was detected (p < 0.05). The level of CD4+ T lymphocytes in ITP patients was lower compared with the control group (p < 0.05). The level of CD8+ T lymphocytes was higher than that in the normal controls (p < 0.05). Additionally, the patients with a higher level of CD8+ T lymphocytes and lower level of CD4+ T lymphocytes were more likely to respond to dexamethasone treatment. Moreover, we observed that ITP patients associated with anti-GPIIb/IIIa antibodies had lower levels of CD4+ T lymphocytes and higher CD8+ T lymphocyte levels. Conclusions: There was insensitivity to dexamethasone treatment in ITP patients who were anti-GPIbα antibody positive. The detection of T lymphocyte subsets is useful in ITP patients for forecasting the outcome of dexamethasone treatment. There were some relationships between the different antibodies and the levels of T lymphocyte subsets.

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