Recent thymic emigrants (RTEs) CD4+CD45RA+CD31+ represent naive T-cells recently migrated from the thymus and are measured as a percent of CD4+ T-cells. A decrease or absence of RTEs is associated with a decrease or loss of thymic output in children, as seen in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), DiGeorge syndrome and other cellular immune deficiency disorders. RTE results should be interpreted with caution in adults due to age-related decline in thymic function. RTE assessment may also be used to evaluate immune reconstitution after hematopoietic cell transplant, post chemotherapy and in HIV patients undergoing highly active antiviral therapy (HAART). Serial measurement is recommended.
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