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Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal

Print version ISSN 1020-3397


NASSAR, M.F. et al. T-lymphocyte subsets and thymic size in malnourished infants in Egypt: a hospital-based study. East. Mediterr. health j. [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.5, pp. 1031-1042. ISSN 1020-3397.

Thymus size was assessed ultrasonographically and correlated to the percentage of CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocytes in peripheral blood in 32 infants with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and compared with 14 healthy control infants. The study revealed thymus atrophy in patients with PEM, especially the oedematous type, accompanied by changes in the peripheral lymphocyte subsets. These changes were reversible after nutritional rehabilitation. However, they may affect the immune status of PEM patients and may require a longer duration of nutrition rehabilitation than required for recovery of anthropometric measures. We recommend proper assessment of the immune functions of PEM patients during nutritional rehabilitation until full recovery.

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