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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1996 May;3(3):326-30.

Lymphocyte subpopulation reference ranges for monitoring human immunodeficiency virus-infected Chinese adults.

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Department of Health, Sai Ying Pun Polyclinic, Hong Kong.


Two hundred eight healthy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1- and HIV type 2-seronegative Chinese adults (78 males and 130 females; mean age, 32 years; age range, 18 to 71 years) were analyzed for lymphocyte subsets by a standardized and quality-controlled flow cytometric immunophenotyping technique. While the leukocyte differential values were comparable to those found in studies of Caucasians, the means, medians, and 95% reference ranges of lymphocyte subsets were very different. The 95% reference ranges in absolute counts per microliter of whole blood (percentage of lymphocytes) for CD3+, CD3+ CD4+, CD3+ CD8+, CD3- CD19+ (B), and CD3- with CD16+ and/or CD56+ (NK) cells were 672 to 2,368 (54.8 to 83.0%), 292 to 1,366 (23.1 to 51.0%), 240 to 1,028 (17.9 to 47.5%), 82 to 560 (5.1 to 20.8%), and 130 to 938 (7.1 to 38.0%), respectively. CD3+ CD4+ cells showed significant sex difference (for males, mean of 702 [34.8%] and standard deviation of 258 [7.5%]; for females, mean of 728 [37.3%] and standard deviation of 254 [7.4%]) as well as an increase with age of 42 (1.6%) per decade. Investigations of the NK cell population did not show similar findings. Classification of HIV disease, treatment, and prophylactic regimens based on studies which relied heavily on estimations of lymphocyte subsets alone should be used with special caution for Chinese patients. Provided that adequate quality control measures are taken to ensure comparability of data, we recommend that these ranges be used on a day-to-day basis in laboratories that have not yet established their own reference ranges.

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