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Lymphopenia in lymphatic malformations
  1. R LAKSHMAN, Research Fellow
  1. Division of Child Health
  2. University of Sheffield
  3. Sheffield, UK
    1. A FINN, Director, Sheffield Institute for Vaccine Studies
    1. Division of Child Health
    2. University of Sheffield
    3. Sheffield, UK

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      Editor,—Hodge et al 1 draw our attention to the possible association of hypogammaglobulinaemia and global lymphopenia with Proteus syndrome. They suggest that this may be secondary to the loss of immunoglobulins and lymphocytes into lymphoedematous tissue. We have seen a similar phenomenon in a child with a massive cystic hygroma in the neck. Immunological investigations showed persistent severe lymphopenia (table 1) with low levels of all lymphocyte subsets. Lymphocyte proliferative responses to PHA were normal as were immunoglobulin levels and antibody responses to protein (diphtheria and tetanus toxoid) and polysaccharide (haemophilus b) vaccines. He initially suffered recurrent chest and skin infections and oral candidiasis but this responded well to treatment with prophylactic cotrimoxazole and nystatin mouthwashes. As in their case, we feel we may have been observing peripheral sequestration of circulating lymphocytes and that, as a consequence, the clinical phenotype was milder than one would have expected in a child with similar results but caused by failure of lymphocyte production. We would like to extend their suggestion for immunological investigations into Proteus syndrome to other children with large lymphatic malformations.

      Table 1

      Lymphocyte counts and subsets in a child with a large cystic hygroma in the neck

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