AIMS: To measure IL-6 concentrations in asymptomatic HIV-1 antibody positive and negative haemophilic patients and to correlate these with IgG concentrations and CD4 positive cell numbers. METHODS: IL-6 concentrations were measured by bioassay in stored serum from a prospective cohort of haemophilic patients in whom immunoglobulins and T cell subsets had been determined. Values of IL-6 and immunoglobulins were also correlated with severity of liver disease. RESULTS: IL-6 concentrations were raised in haemophilic patients independent of HIV-1 antibody status. In HIV-1 antibody positive patients there was no correlation between IL-6 concentrations and CD4 positive cell numbers, but there was a correlation with IgG (r = 0.4; p = 0.05). In HIV-1 antibody negative patients there were no significant correlations. CONCLUSIONS: Haemophilic patients have increased IL-6 concentrations; in HIV-1 positive patients this is independent of the decline in CD4 cell count. The raised concentrations do not correlate with the clinical severity of liver disease.
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