Feb 27, 2002
Hello Doctor, Please please help me understand what actually causes lymphopenia in HIV. Is it the lost of total WBCs that make for a shortage of lymphocytes? Or can you have a total white blood cell count of like 7000-8000 and still have lymphopenia. I have read that lymphopenia in HIV often is present with neutropenia which to me would mean that the total white blood cell count is decreased. Is that true? Thank you so much for your help with this matter.
Response from Dr. Feinberg
HIv infection destroys a subset of lymphocytes called CD4 (or T4) cells. HIV+ people can also have neutropenia, which is a shortage of a different kind of white blood cell. The two shortages are not related-- you can have either or neither or both, all independently.
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