Nineteen patients with juvenile chronic arthritis were followed up and serum IgG subclass concentrations measured at different stages of disease activity. Patients were divided into three groups according to clinical activity of the disease: active disease, partial remission, and remission. The results were compared with normal values obtained in 448 healthy children aged 6 months to 18 years with a homogeneous distribution for each year of age. Serum IgG subclass concentrations of each child were first log transformed and then age corrected, taking the deviation of the log transformed value from that expected for a child of the same age. It was found that patients with partial remission had increased concentrations of IgG2 and decreased concentrations of IgG1 compared with patients with active disease. This suggests that the remission inducing process, at least in juvenile chronic arthritis, is accompanied by a switch of IgG subclass production.
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