Bioaccumulated chlorinated hydrocarbons & red/white blood cell parameters

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The potential relationships between chlorinated hydrocarbon

contamination in human serum and red/white blood cell profiles

were investigated by multivariate techniques to assess the

cellular response patterns to high and low organochlorine

levels in the serum. Twenty-three healthy control subjects

and fourteen patients with unexplained and persistent fatigue

were divided on the basis of (a) high or low total

organochlorine content, (b) high or low DDE

(1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethene) content, and

(c) high or low HCB (hexachlorobenzene) content. Discriminant

function analysis revealed that the groups with high

organochlorine content had significantly different red/white

blood cell profiles compared with the low organochlorine

groups ((a) P < 0.017, (b) P < 0.015, and (c) P < 0.0002). As

a variable, the percentage of neutrophils was the most

important discriminant parameter for differentiating between

the high and low total organochlorine groups. Thirteen of the

fourteen fatigued patients were characterized as “high total

organocholorine content” (P < 0.04). The red cell distribution

width was elevated in the high DDE group (P < 0.04) and was

the most important discriminant parameter for differentiating

between the high and low DDE groups. The percentage of

eosinophils and the hemoglobin content were both reduced in

the high HCB group (P < 0.009,P < 0.003, respectively) and

the percentage of eosinophils was the most important

discriminant parameter for differentiating between the high

and low HCB groups. Those patients with unexplained and

persistent fatigue had significantly higher levels of DDE

compared with the controls and had different specific blood

cell responses to organochlorines compared with control

subjects.

Dunstan RH, Roberts TK, Donohoe M, McGregor NR, Hope D, Taylor WG,

Watkins JA, Murdoch RN, Butt HL

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