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T-cell, B-cell and NK-cell Reference Range Changes
In an effort to provide more updated reporting of reference intervals and in consultation with UCI’s Institute of Immunology, the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine will change the adult reference intervals for T-cell, B-cell, and NK-cell subsets. These changes were verified in 50 adult (≥ 17 years old) donors as part of a reference range population study. Pediatric ranges remain the same.
Markers Test Code PREVIOUS Adult NEW Adult
CD3 % TSUBS 62-84 % 58-89 %
CD3 Absolute Count TSUBS 619-1847 700-2377 cells/mcL
CD3+CD4 % TSUBS 31-61 % 24-64 %
CD3+CD4 Absolute Count TSUBS 338-1194 477-1634 cells/mcL
CD3+CD8 % TSUBS 10-38 % 12-45 %
CD3+CD8 Absolute Count TSUBS 85-729 168-1315 cells/mcL
CD4/CD8 Ratio TSUBS 0.9-3.7 0.8-5.0
CD19 % BSUBS 5-26 % 6-29 %
CD19 Absolute Count BSUBS 51-473 104-795 cells/mcL
CD56 % BSUBS 1-17 % 2-32 %
CD56 Absolute Count BSUBS 12-349 43-680 cells/mcL

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2019

Test codes: TSUBS, BSUBS

Specimen requirement and testing information:

Test methodology: Flow cytometry

Collect: 3.0 – 5.0 mL blood in lavender-top (EDTA) tube and 7.0 mL blood in green-top (sodium heparin) tube or 10.0 mL in yellow-top (ACD) tube.

Prepare: Specimen must arrive within 24 hours of draw. Send at ambient temperature. Do not refrigerate. Protect from heat.

Minimum volume: 0.5 mL blood in lavender-top (EDTA) tube and 2.0 mL blood in green-top (sodium heparin) or 1.0 mL in yellow-top (ACD) tube.

Minimum stability (collection to initiation of testing):
Ambient: EDTA = 24 hours
                  Na Heparin = 48 hours
                  ACD = 72 hours
Refrigerated: Unacceptable
Frozen: Unacceptable

Turnaround time (TAT):
STAT: Not available
Routine: 1 - 3 days
Set Up Days: Monday - Saturday

Rejection criteria:
Specimens that exceed stated stability, unlabeled/mislabeled/mismatched specimens, and specimens submitted in leaking containers, clotted or grossly hemolyzed specimens

Additional information:
Useful for the quantitation of T-helper (CD4) and T-suppressor (CD8) and total T cell (CD3) lymphocytes and determination of CD4:CD8 ratio.

A summary of all tests offered by our laboratory services can be found here:


Xiaohui (Sheila) Zhao, MD, PhD
Hematology Laboratory

Edwin S. Monuki, MD, PhD
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
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