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ARTICLE |

Flow Cytometric Measurement of Rat Lymphocyte Subpopulations After Burn Injury and Burn Injury With Infection

David G. Burleson, PhD; George K. Vaughn; Arthur D. Mason Jr, MD; Basil A. Pruitt Jr, MD
Arch Surg. 1987;122(2):216-220. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1987.01400140098013.
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• Increased infection rates in burned patients may result from a disproportionate increase in the suppressor subpopulations. Measurement of lymphocyte subpopulations is difficult in burned patients because gradient-purified cells are contaminated by nonlymphoid cells. The accuracy of flow cytometric subpopulation analysis was improved by restricting (gating) the analysis to cells with light-scatter intensity typical of lymphocytes. Blood was obtained 48 hours after burn from rats receiving no burns, 30% scald burns, or burns seeded with Pseudomonas aeruginosa to induce infection. Subpopulations were identified by monoclonal antibodies to T-lymphocyte antigens. Gating increased the values obtained for most subpopulations, but the relative differences between groups were unchanged. Burned and infected animals, but not animals burned only, had a decreased ratio of helper to suppressor lymphocytes (HSR) relative to control. A decreased HSR correlated with sepsis, but not with infection susceptibility. This suggests that a decrease in HSR may be a result of infection rather than a cause of susceptibility to infection.

(Arch Surg 1987;122:216-220)

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