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T and B Lymphocyte Subsets in Patients with Unexplained Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion: IVIG versus Placebo Treatment


Barbara Jablonowska Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden. E-mail:


Jablonowska B, Palfi M, Matthiesen L, Selbing A, Kjellberg S, Ernerudh J. T and B Lymphocyte subsets in patients with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion: IVIG versus placebo treatment. AJRI 2002; 48:312–318 © Blackwell Munksgaard, 2002

PROBLEM: To investigate circulating lymphocyte subsets in women with recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) in relation to pregnancy outcome and to treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).

METHOD OF STUDY: Forty-one women with a history of unexplained RSA were examined during first trimester of pregnancy before IVIG or placebo treatment and after pregnancy. The results were compared with five healthy, non-pregnant women and five women in the first trimester of normal pregnancy. Circulating lymphocyte subsets with focus on T-cell subpopulations were determined by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: The proportions of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR positive T cells (CD3+ HLA-DR+), T-killer/effector cells (CD8+ S6F1+) and B cells (CD19+) were increased, whereas the proportion of T-suppressor/inducer cells (CD4+ CD45RA+) was decreased during first trimester pregnancy of RSA women compared with pregnant normal controls. T and B lymphocyte subsets did not correlate with pregnancy outcome on either IVIG or placebo group.

CONCLUSIONS: In RSA patients, the immune system seems to be activated in contrast to the suppression noted in normal pregnancy.