Age-related standards for T lymphocyte subsets based on uninfected children born to human immunodeficiency virus 1-infected women. The European Collaborative Study

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1992 Dec;11(12):1018-26.


The T lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of 459 uninfected children born to white human immunodeficiency virus 1-infected women included in the European Collaborative Study were measured at regular intervals from birth. More than 2400 observations were used to create smooth age-related reference ranges for CD4 and CD8 counts and percentages, CD4:CD8 ratio and absolute lymphocyte count. Standards are presented for children up to 4 years of age. CD4, CD8 and absolute lymphocyte count rose after birth, peaked at around 6 to 9 months of age and then declined toward adult values. CD4 percentage and CD4:CD8 ratio declined steadily from birth onwards. Centile lines for CD4 count and CD4:CD8 ratio converged markedly with age. For the CD4 values, only 3 to 5% of the variation was attributable to differences between the 10 participating centers. These standards allow T lymphocyte abnormalities to be used more effectively as markers for disease progression and assist in the clinical follow up of human immunodeficiency virus 1-infected children. They also provide a basis for initiating antiretroviral treatment or antimicrobial prophylaxis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / congenital*
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious
  • Reference Values
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets*