Imperial Collage Healthcare

Lymphocyte subsets

Test Background
Enumeration of peripheral blood T-cells (CD3, CD4, CD8), B-cells (CD19) and NK cells (CD56). Other lymphocyte surface markers can also be enumerated. HIV positive patients may have reduced T-helper (CD4) lymphocytes or a reduced T-helper: T-suppressor (CD8) cell ratio, usually in conjunction with an absolute lymphocytopenia. This test is now recommended as an early indicator of the development of AIDS in HIV positive subjects. It is not specific for HIV infection and other viral conditions, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, SLE and sarcoidosis may also be associated with a low count.

Clinical Indications
Early indicator of the development of AIDS in HIV positive subjects.

Reference Range
Adult ranges (>18 years) 
CD3+ T lymphocytes Percentage                  55-83
CD3+ T lymphocytes Absolute                        700-2100
CD3+/CD4+ T lymphocyte Percentage         28-57
CD3+/CD4+ T lymphocyte Absolute              300-1400
CD3+/CD8+ T lymphocyte Percentage         10-39
CD3+/CD8+ T lymphocyte Absolute              200-900
CD19+ B lymphocyte Percentage                  6-19
CD19+ B lymphocyte Absolute                       100-500
CD3-/CD16-CD56+ NK cells Percentage     7-31
CD3-/CD16-CD56+ NK cells Absolute          90-600
Absolute Lymphocytes                                    1000-2800

NB values for children vary according to age

Sample Required
EDTA (lavender top) Do not separate or refrigerate Test within 24 hours Please label ‘risk specimen’ if HIV positive

Sample Volume
3 mL

Turnaround Time
3 days

Please discuss with the Immunology laboratory on ext. 10130.

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