• Baseline immunologic abnormalities were identified in 16 hospitalized intravenous drug abusers (IDAs) without acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Twelve (75%) of 16 had inverted helper-suppressor ratios. In seven patients (44%), the abnormal ratio resulted from an increase in the absolute number of suppressor cells with a normal number of helper T lymphocytes. In five patients (31%), the reduced ratio resulted primarily from decreased helper cells, immunophenotypic findings similar to those seen in patients with AIDS. These findings are similar to what has been noted in other groups at risk for AIDS. Longitudinal follow-up as well as studies of "healthy" IDAs are required to understand the prognostic implications of these data.
(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1376-1380)