Purpose: Pancreatitis can lead to systemic inflammatory response, but the relationship between lymphocyte changes and patients with pancreatitis remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated the feedback function of changes in peripheral lymphocyte subsets on the condition of patients with pancreatitis.
Materials and methods: 131 acute pancreatitis (AP) patients and 11 chronic pancreatitis (CP) patients constituted the patients' group; 20 healthy individuals were enrolled as healthy controls (HC). Serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP), amylase, and lipase and the frequency and absolute number of many types of peripheral lymphocytes (including T, B, NK, CD16+/CD56+ T, CD4+ T, CD8+ T, CD4+CD8+ T, and CD4-CD8- T cells) were detected on admission and the seventh day of standard treatment. Besides, the length of hospital stay was recorded.
Results: The absolute number of all lymphocytes we studied decreased in patients with CP and in patients with almost all types of AP. The frequency change of lymphocytes varies among the different types of AP. During disease onset, B cell frequency correlated positively with CRP concentration and NK cell frequency correlated positively with amylase and lipase concentration. B cell frequency and CD4+ T cell absolute number were recovering towards normal after short-term treatment. The frequency of B cells and NK cells correlated positively with the length of hospital stay.
Conclusions: B cells and NK cells closely correlate with patients' condition and may help to diagnose AP more accurately and reflect treatment effect of AP in time, affecting the recovery speed of patients with M-AP, which may help physicians to better understand the pathophysiology of pancreatitis.
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