In a group of renal transplant recipients who underwent acute irrversible cellular rejection we observed persistent elevation of the OKM1+ and T11+/HLA-DR+ T lymphocyte subpopulations. When compared with control patients undergoing reversible rejection episodes, significant differences were noted in these subsets. This finding may be indicative of a poor prognosis for graft salvage. Although the number of patients is small, this observation lends support to further characterization of these subsets and correlation with findings in the graft via staining of fine-needle aspiration and core biopsy specimens.
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