T and B Cells, Total

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The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: T and B Cells Total

% CD19 (B Cells)

% CD3 (Mature T Cells)

Absolute CD19+ Cells

Absolute CD3+ Cells

Absolute Lymphocytes

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The T and B Cells, Total test contains 1 test with 5 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The T and B Cells Total test, often referred to as lymphocyte subset analysis, is an examination that enumerates the number of T cells and B Cells. These cells are subsets of white blood cells and are fundamental players in the immune response. T cells help coordinate the immune response and directly attack infectious agents, while B cells are responsible for producing antibodies.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why a T and B Cells Total Test May Be Ordered

A T and B Cells Total test may be ordered:

  1. To Diagnose Immunodeficiencies: The test can identify whether there's a deficiency in the number of T or B cells, indicating a potential primary or secondary immunodeficiency.
  2. To Monitor HIV/AIDS: This test is crucial for assessing the stage and progression of HIV and monitoring the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy.
  3. To Evaluate Autoimmune Conditions: Disorders where the immune system targets the body can sometimes be associated with abnormal T and B cell numbers.
  4. To Monitor Therapy: In patients who have had an organ transplant, the test might be used to monitor the effects of immunosuppressive therapy.

What a T and B Cells Total Test Checks For

The test checks for the quantity of:

  1. T Cells: Further divided into Absolute CD3+ Cells and %CD3 Mature T Cells
  2. B Cells: Further divided into Absolute CD19+ Cells and %CD19 B Cells
  3. Absolute Lymphocytes

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside a T and B Cells Total Test

This test is often part of a broader assessment of immune function or in the evaluation of conditions affecting the immune system. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential:

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: A CBC can provide context for lymphocyte counts and help in the diagnosis of conditions like infections, anemia, and leukemias.
  2. Immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE):

    • Purpose: To measure the levels of various types of antibodies (immunoglobulins) in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the function of B cells and the body's ability to produce antibodies, which is crucial for humoral immunity.
  3. Lymphocyte Subsets:

    • Purpose: To analyze the types and proportions of various lymphocyte subsets (e.g., CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells).
    • Why Is It Ordered: To provide detailed information about the immune system, particularly in the context of conditions like HIV/AIDS, lymphomas, and other immunodeficiencies.
  4. Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA):

    • Purpose: To test for autoantibodies that target components within the cell nucleus.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To help diagnose autoimmune disorders, which can affect lymphocyte function.
  5. ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) and CRP (C-Reactive Protein):

    • Purpose: To measure markers of inflammation in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To provide information about systemic inflammation, which can be related to immune system disorders.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Total T and B Cells test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of the immune system's status and function. They are crucial for diagnosing and monitoring conditions that affect the immune system, such as immunodeficiency disorders, autoimmune diseases, and certain types of cancer. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and the suspected underlying condition.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring a T and B Cells Total Test

Several conditions might lead to this test being ordered:

  1. HIV/AIDS: To monitor disease progression and treatment efficacy.
  2. Primary Immunodeficiencies: Such as DiGeorge syndrome, where there's a congenital absence of T cells.
  3. Secondary Immunodeficiencies: Which might be caused by medications, infections, or other diseases.
  4. Autoimmune disorders: Like systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis, which may be associated with changes in T or B cell numbers.
  5. After an Organ Transplant: To monitor the effects of immunosuppressive drugs.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results of a T and B Cells Total Test

The results of the T and B Cells Total test provide valuable information on the state of the immune system:

  1. Normal Ranges: Indicates that the immune system is likely functioning adequately in terms of cell numbers.
  2. Decreased Counts: Especially reduced CD3+ T cell counts, can indicate advanced HIV disease or other immunodeficiencies.
  3. Increased Counts: Could be seen in certain autoimmune conditions or lymphoid cancers.

By evaluating these cell numbers, especially in relation to past results, doctors can determine disease progression, the success of treatments, or the need for further diagnostic testing.

Most Common Questions About the T and B Cells Total test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications

Why is the T and B Cells Total test performed?

The T and B Cells Total test is often carried out to evaluate a person's immune system, specifically the numbers and ratios of T and B lymphocytes. These cells play vital roles in the immune response: T cells are involved in cell-mediated immunity, while B cells are responsible for humoral immunity or antibody production. Determining the levels of these cells can aid in diagnosing certain immune disorders or conditions where the immune system is compromised.

In which conditions is the T and B Cells Total test indicated?

The T and B Cells Total test can be indicated in a variety of conditions including HIV/AIDS (where T-cell numbers, especially CD3 T cells, are significantly affected), certain types of leukemia or lymphoma, and immunodeficiency disorders. It's also used to assess the immune status of organ transplant recipients or those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy.

Interpretation of Results

What do decreased levels of T and B cells in the T and B Cells Total test suggest?

Decreased levels of T and B cells can indicate an underlying immune deficiency or immune suppression. This could be due to congenital conditions, acquired conditions like HIV/AIDS, or secondary to treatments like chemotherapy or immunosuppressive medications.

How do increased levels of T and B cells in the T and B Cells Total test results get interpreted?

Increased levels of T and B cells might suggest conditions such as certain types of leukemia or lymphomas where there's an overproduction of these cells. Additionally, some autoimmune disorders might show elevated numbers of these cells as the immune system is overactive.

Clinical Implications

How can the results of the T and B Cells Total test influence treatment decisions?

Results from the T and B Cells Total test can provide crucial insights into the patient's immune status, guiding treatment decisions. For instance, in HIV patients, T-cell counts (particularly CD3 T-cell counts) influence antiretroviral therapy decisions. Similarly, in transplant recipients, the results can help adjust immunosuppressive therapy doses to prevent graft rejection while avoiding excessive immunosuppression.

Do alterations in T and B cell counts in the T and B Cells Total test always indicate disease?

No, alterations in T and B cell counts do not always signify disease. Variability can arise due to physiological reasons, stress, recent infections, or even the time of day the test is performed. It's crucial to interpret the results in the broader context of clinical presentation, other lab findings, and the patient's medical history.

Relationships with Other Health Conditions

How do conditions like HIV/AIDS specifically impact the results of the T and B Cells Total test?

HIV/AIDS predominantly affects the T-cell population, especially the CD3 T cells. A decline in CD3 T cell count is a hallmark of HIV progression. The T and B Cells Total test, when focused on CD3 T cell count, becomes a pivotal tool in monitoring disease progression and efficacy of antiretroviral therapy in HIV/AIDS patients.

Are there diseases where only one of the cell types (either T or B cells) is predominantly affected in the T and B Cells Total test results?

Yes, there are conditions where either T or B cells are selectively impacted. For instance, in conditions like Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), B cell function is compromised, leading to reduced antibody production, while T-cell counts might remain normal. Conversely, conditions like DiGeorge syndrome primarily affect T-cell production due to thymus abnormalities.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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