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B and T cell screen
Alternative namesA test that makes a quantitative measurement of T and B lymphocytes in the blood.
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to cause the vein to swell with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in air-tight vials or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
How to prepare for the testNo alteration in diet is necessary for this test.
Inform your health care provider of anything in your life that might affect your T and B cell count, such as:
How the test will feelWhen the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the test is performedThis test is performed to aid your health care provider in the diagnosis of immunodeficiency diseases. It may also be used to distinguish between benign and malignant lymphocytic disease. Finally, this test may be performed to monitor your response to therapy.
Normal ValuesValues vary from laboratory to laboratory, and depend on testing technique, but typically, T cells comprise 68% to 75% of total lymphocytes and B cells 10% to 20%.
What abnormal results meanAbnormal T and B cell counts suggest possible diseases. Further testing is indicated to confirm any of the suggested diagnosis.
An increased T cell count may suggest:
What the risks areRisks associated with venipuncture are slight:
Special considerationsVeins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Update Date: 11/3/2003Sherry Woodhouse, M.D., Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT