The phenotype and functions of monocytes in patients with haemophilia A and age-matched controls were studied. Fourteen male haemophiliacs were classified in three categories according to the mean number of units of factor VIII received during the last 5 years. Eleven patients were positive for antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus but none of our patients were homosexuals or drug abusers, nor do they fulfill the criteria of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Patients treated with high amounts of factor VIII concentrates ( > 3 3× 105 U/year) showed a significantly lower percentage of monocytes expressing HLA-DR, LFA-1 and CR3 antigens as compared with patients receiving lower amounts of factor VIII ( < 2 × 106 U/year) or controls. Kinetics of DR, LFA-1 and CR3 in cultured monocytes showed tht they were lost faster by monocytes from haemophiliacs treated with large amounts of factor VIII than by control monocytes. Adherence ability and chemotactic response of monocytes from patients treated with < 3 × 105 U/year of factor VIII were also impaired. Although phagocytic indices were in normal ranges in haemophiliacs, a significant difference was observed between percentages of phagocytic monocytes from haemophiliacs treated with the largest doses of factor VIII and normal controls. Tests for respiratory burst activity, measured by chemiluminescence and superoxide anion generation, and Staphylococcus aureus killing were in normal ranges in haemophiliacs’ monocytes.

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