Open Access
Effect of thymectomy on cellular immune function
Qing Cao1,Meng Yin1,Yunfang Zhou1,Jinfen Liu1,Kun Sun1,Biru Li1
Department of Pediatrics, Shanghai JiaoTong University Affiliated Shanghai Children's Medical Center, Shanghai 200127, China
DOI: 10.2741/3896 Volume 16 Issue 8, pp.3036-3042
Published: 01 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunoregulation and inflammatory disease)

The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of thymectomy during open heart surgery on immunological function of T lymphocytes in the treatment of children with congenital heart disease (CHD). No significant difference was found in the sjTREC level between pre-thymectomy and post- thymectomy in the non-thymectomy group and the small partial resection group (P>0.05) However, the sjTREC level decreased from the pre-surgical level at 1 month (P<0.01) and 12 months (P<0.01) in the sub-total resection group. No differences were found in proportions of CD3, CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes, proliferative ability of lymphocytes and expression of IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-γ after surgery between controls and three groups of patients (P>0.05). In the sub-total resection group, respiratory infection frequency (4.7±1.7 times) did not differ significantly from control group one year after surgery (P>0.05); however, mean days of anti-infection were significantly increased (P less than 0.01). In conclusion, sub-total thymectomy leads to a decrease in the sjTREC level in CHD children, whereas the function of peripheral mature T lymphocytes is normal.

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Qing Cao, Meng Yin, Yunfang Zhou, Jinfen Liu, Kun Sun, Biru Li. Effect of thymectomy on cellular immune function. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(8); 3036-3042.