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Granulocyte Function and Levels of Immunoglobulins and Complement in Patients Admitted for Withdrawal from Alcohol

Rob Roy MacGregor, Stephen J. Gluckman and John R. Senior
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 138, No. 6 (Dec., 1978), pp. 747-753
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30109037
Page Count: 7
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Granulocyte Function and Levels of Immunoglobulins and Complement in Patients Admitted for Withdrawal from Alcohol
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Abstract

Chronic alcoholics who had been drinking heavily until admission for withdrawal from alcohol were studied to determine their level of granulocyte function, immunoglobulin concentration, and complement system activity. Although most had some mild derangement in results of liver function tests, serum albumin concentrations were normal, and there was no clinical evidence of malnutrition or cirrhosis. Granulocyte adherence was slightly depressed in two subjects (52.4% and 54.1%; normal, 76.0% ± 12%), although mean adherence for the group was normal. Mean chemotaxis was significantly below normal (2,103 vs. 7,943 counts per min), and the impairment was related to a defect or inhibitor in the serum of patients. Phagocytic activity was less than half that of control subjects in two alcoholics, but mean values were not depressed. Bactericidal activity was normal in all. Serum concentrations of immunoglobulins and total hemolytic complement activity were above the normal range for the group. The general inhibition of chemotaxis or the occasional defects in other granulocyte functions may contribute to the difficulty that alcoholics have with infection.

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