Immunological abnormalities in sarcoidosis have been previously described. Cutaneous anergy to a wide variety of antigens first prompted the suggestion that the underlying defect may be of importance in the aetiology or pathogenesis of the disorder. The thymus derived lymphocytes appear to be particularly affected, and both quantitative and qualitative in vitro defects have been described in these cells in sarcoidosis patients. We have quantitatively investigated T and B cells in a series of 52 sarcoidosis patients, and our results indicate that, as a group, sarcoidosis patients have lower mean total lymphocyte counts and lower T cell counts than the control series in agreement and with other reports. We found no difference between B cells in the sarcoidosis and control groups. The quantitative abnormalities detected did not correlate with any of the clinical parameters which were investigated--stage of disease, duration of the disease, treatment regime, and activity of disease--and there was a considerable overlap between the results obtained in sarcoidosis patients and the controls. Our results indicate that these investigations are of little value in the management of sarcoidosis patients.
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