Serial immunologic and histopathologic studies in the treatment of necrotizing fasciitis with combined immunodeficiency by a bovine thymic extract (Thymostimulin)

Ching Yuang Lin, Chyon Hsin Hsu, Kuo Chin Liu, Chi Long Chen, Hey Chi Hsu

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11 Citations (Scopus)


A 25-day-old Chinese female baby developed necrotizing fasciitis (NF) with indurated erythematous patches with superficial necrosis over two thirds of the back. Skin cultures of the lesions yielded Streptococcus pyogenes, enterococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida species. The patient had lymphopenia with low T cells and T cell subsets. The lymphoproliferative response to mitogen and macrophage migration (MIF) production were also poor. Her lymphocytes were unable to produce IgG in vitro. Also, IgG bearing cells were not demonstrable. The initial lymph node biopsy demonstrated an absence of follicular formation and depletion of lymphocytes in both thymic-dependent and thymic-independent areas. Five weeks after bovine thymic extract (Thymostimulin) treatment, a second lymph node biopsy demonstrated germinal centers containing IgG bearing cells. Three weeks later, a third lymph node biopsy showed germinal centers with cuffs of lymphocytes. Differentiation of the cortex and medulla of the node was demonstrated. IgG was also detectable in an in vitro Ig synthesis study. The total T cells, T cell subsets, lymphoproliferative response MIF production also increased gradually after Thymostimulin treatment. This investigation demonstrated the therapeutic effectiveness of Thymostimulin in NF with underlying combined immunodeficiency, both serious and frequently fetal diseases, by the histologic and immunologic reconstitution of T and B cell function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1000-1004
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes



  • Combined immunodeficiency
  • necrotizing fasciitis
  • thymostimulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery

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