The incidence of lymphopenia and eosinopenia in 10 patients admitted to hospital in heart failure was compared with that in 11 `cold' admissions and 10 with acute diseases admitted via the Casualty Department. Plasma cortisol determinations were made simultaneously. A significant difference was found between the heart failure group and the `cold' controls in respect of lymphopenia, eosinopenia, and cortisol levels. The `acute' control patients showed an overlap with both groups. It is concluded that this lymphopenia is part of a response to stress.
Seventy-two hours after admission there was no significant change in these values although the figures suggest the beginning of a return to normal.
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