T-And B-Lymphocyte Assays
Lymphocytes - key cells in the immune system - have the capacity to recognize antigens through special receptors found on their surfaces.
Cell separation is used to isolate lymphocytes nom other cellular blood elements. This procedure recovers about 80% of the lymphocytes but doesn't differentiate between T cells and B cells. The percentage of T cells and B cells is determined by attaching a label or marker and using different identification techniques.
Null cells possess Fc receptors but no other detectable surface markers and have no diagnostic significance. The number of null cells is usually determined by subtracting the sum of T cells and B cells nom totallymphocytes.
Procedure and posttest care
T-cell and B-cell assays are being standardized, and values may differ from one laboratory to another, depending on test technique.
These counts are higher in children.
Normal T-cell and B-cell counts don't necessarily ensure a competent immune system. In autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
T cells and B cells, although present in normal numbers, may not be functionally competent.
An abnormal T-cell or B-cell count suggests but doesn't confirm specific diseases. The B-cell count is elevated in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, and DiGeorge's syndrome.
B cells decrease in acute lymphocytic leukemia and in certain congenital or acquired immunoglobulin deficiency diseases. In other immunoglobulin deficiency diseases, especially if only one immunoglobulin class is deficient, the B-cell count remains normal.
The T-cell count rises occasionally in infectious mononucleosis; it rises more often in multiple myeloma and acute lymphocytic leukemia.
The T-cell count decreases in congenital T-cell deficiency diseases, such as DiGeorge's, Nezelof's, and Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes, and in certain Bcell proliferative disorders, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
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