Susceptibility to infections and in vitro immune functions in cartilage-hair hypoplasia

Eur J Pediatr. 1998 Oct;157(10):816-20. doi: 10.1007/s004310050943.


Cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH), an autosomal recessive chondrodysplasia, results in severe growth failure, sparse hair and impaired cellular immunity. Lymphocyte subpopulations and proliferative responsiveness in mitogen stimulation were analysed in 35 patients of whom 31% had an increased incidence of infections the year prior to the evaluation. Of the patients, 57% had a decreased CD4+ cell count which led to a decreased total count of T-lymphocytes in 52% and a subnormal CD4 +/CD8 + cell ratio in 32%. The B-lymphocyte count was usually normal. The natural killer cell count was above reference values in 40% of the patients. The lymphocyte stimulation indices as studied with phytohaemagglutinin , Concanavalin A and pokeweed mitogen were subnormal in 69%, 69% and 83% of the patients, respectively. The numbers of lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes and CD4+ cells, and the pokeweed mitogen stimulation index. but not the other measured parameters, correlated significantly with the proness to infections during the preceding year. However, the correlation was reverse with higher counts in the patients who had had recurring infections. The observed significant correlations may reflect immunological stimuli caused by recurring infections.

Conclusion: The presently used parameters of cellular immunity poorly predict the clinical outcome of an individual cartilage-hair hypoplasia patient. All patients, irrespective of their in vitro immunological competence, have to be carefully followed because of possibility of serious infections and malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hair*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunocompetence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Male
  • Opportunistic Infections / immunology*
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / complications
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests


  • Antigens, Surface