The immune states of 52 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes classified according to the FAB criteria were studied. Serum electrophoresis and immunoelectrophoresis, direct Coombs test, and tests for organ and non-organ specific antibodies were performed. Twenty six patients had immunoglobulin abnormalities: six (11.5%) had monoclonal gammopathy; 17 (32.6%) had polyclonal increases in serum immunoglobulin; while in three (5.8%) immunoglobulin concentrations were decreased. The distribution of immunoglobulin abnormalities among the five myelodysplastic syndrome subtypes was fairly uniform. Results of direct Coombs test were negative in all cases. Organ specific antibodies were not detected in any of the patients tested, although two patients were found positive for antinuclear antibodies. The presence of immunoglobulin abnormalities indicates an involvement of the lymphoplasmatic system in myelodysplastic syndromes.
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