Methods: In this retrospective study, 47 patients suspected of having HIES from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI) were analyzed using Flow Cytometry. Cells were activated with PMA/ionomycin, stained with antibodies to CD4/CD8, and then stained for intracellular IL17a. Patients selected for the study had a pretest diagnosis of eczema, recurrent infections, or both.
Results: The mean percentage of Th17 was 0.78 ± SE 0.11. The mean age was 13.40 ± SE 1.95. Th17 levels increased significantly as age increased (p<0.005) with no significant differences between sexes. Th17 levels trended lower in patients with eczema and atopic disease, but were not statistically significant compared to controls. Several patients with HIES were included in this analysis and demonstrated very low levels of Th17 cells.
Conclusions: There is an age dependent increase in Th17. While patients with eczema and atopic disease had decreased production of Th17, they were not significantly different from healthy controls. Very low levels of Th17 tend to favor a diagnosis of HIES.