To determine the expression of CD45 isoforms on T lymphocytes in neonates with fetal distress and to evaluate its diagnostic accuracy, peripheral blood samples were examined in 53 neonates who were classified into one of three groups: group I: ‘control’ group (n = 23), group II: ‘mild distress’ group (n = 15), and group III: ‘moderate distress’ group (n = 15). The expression of CD3 (mean ± SD 24.2 ± 10.1%), CD4 (23.0 ± 5.7%), and CD45RA (27.3 ± 9.6%) on total lymphocytes and the expression of CD45RA on CD4+ T lymphocytes (13.7 ± 4.7%) in group III were significantly lower than in the other two groups 0–3 days after birth. Sensitivity and specificity of the CD45RA expression on CD4+ T lymphocytes for discrimination of group III were calculated as 0.79 and 1.0, respectively, when the cutoff value was 22.7%. The low CD3, CD4, and CD45RA expression returned to normal levels 10 days and more after birth. There were no differences in the CD8 and CD45RO expression between the groups. We conclude that CD4+ T lymphocytes from neonates with fetal distress show a transient decrease in the CD45RA expression without an increase in the CD45RO expression, and, therefore, analysis of the CD45 isoform expression is useful for laboratory evaluation of fetal distress.
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