What is CD4 Lymphocyte Count test?

A blood test called a CD4 count measures the CD4 cells in a sample of your blood. A subset of white blood cells are CD4 cells. They are also referred to as "helper T cells" or CD4 T lymphocytes. That's because they aid in preventing infection by triggering the immune system to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful pathogens.

If you have HIV, a CD4 count is primarily used to assess the status of your immune system. HIV targets and kills CD4 cells. HIV might kill so many CD4 cells if you don't receive therapy that your immune system won't be able to fight off infections. AIDS is brought on by the HIV virus (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

The most severe stage of an HIV infection is AIDS. When you have AIDS, your CD4 count is so low that you run the risk of getting severe infections from bacteria, fungi, or viruses. These are referred to as "opportunistic infections," and they have the potential to be fatal. HIV/AIDS also raises your chance of getting certain malignancies.

Most HIV-positive persons do not have AIDS. They may never acquire AIDS if they take their HIV medication as directed.

A CD4 count can help your doctor determine your risk for dangerous infections if you have HIV. A CD4 count can also be used to monitor and assist in the diagnosis of various immune system-related disorders.

Other names: Other names of this test are CD4 lymphocyte count CD4+ count, T4 count, T-helper cell count, CD4 percent

What is the use of CD4 Lymphocyte Count?

An HIV positive person's CD4 count may be used to:

  • See how the immune system is being impacted by HIV. Your risk for contracting opportunistic infections or certain malignancies may be monitored with the aid of CD4 levels. Your doctor could prescribe you therapy to aid in infection prevention if your risk rises.
  • Help evaluate the effectiveness of HIV treatment. To determine if HIV medications are effective, a CD4 count is used with a test known as an HIV viral load test. An HIV viral load test calculates the level of HIV in your blood.
  • Identify AIDS, HIV can cause an extremely low CD4 count, which indicates AIDS if left untreated.

CD4 count is also used to:

  • Track your ongoing medical treatment after an organ transplant: You will need to take medication if you've undergone an organ transplant to stop your immune system from fighting the new organ. Immunosuppressants or "anti-rejection" pharmaceuticals are the names given to these medications. These drugs may potentially be used to treat certain autoimmune illnesses. Low CD4 counts indicate that the treatment is effective.
  • Aid in the diagnosis of various lymphoma forms: The sort of immune cells producing lymphoma can be identified using a CD4 count together with additional tests. The test findings aid in selecting the best course of action.
  • Aid in identifying DiGeorge syndrome: This is a rare hereditary illness that frequently results in immunological issues and other disorders that manifest at birth.

What is the need of CD4 count?

When you are initially diagnosed with HIV, your doctor could ask for a CD4 count. Every few months, you'll likely have another test to determine whether your levels have changed since the last tested time.

Your doctor may request routine CD4 counts along with an HIV viral load test if you are on HIV medication to determine how well it is working.

What happens during a CD4 count test?

A tiny needle will be used by a phlebotomist to draw blood from a vein in your arm. A tiny amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial once the needle has been placed. The needle may hurt somewhat when it enters or exits your body. Usually, this only needs a few minutes.

How to prepare for the test?

For a CD4 count, no extra preparations are required.

Does the test include any risks?

There is no danger or risk of getting this blood test. Even though you can have some little discomfort or bruising where the needle was inserted, mostly it will go soon.

What do the findings indicate?

Results for CD4 are typically expressed as a percentage of cells per millilitre of blood. However, various laboratories may define "normal" CD4 counts differently. Your age, other medical problems, and any medications you may be taking all affect what is normal for you. It's crucial to discuss the significance of your test findings with your doctor for this reason.

Even if your health has not been affected, CD4 levels can change. So, to determine whether there is a pattern in your CD4 levels, your physician will often examine a few test results over time.

The following are normalCD4 count ranges:

Healthy adults and teens

For healthy adults and teenagers, the normal CD4 count ranges from 500 to 1,200 cells per cubic millimetre.

Low levels

Below 500 cells per cubic millimetre is considered as a low CD4 level.

  • When you have HIV: A low CD4 count if you have HIV indicates that HIV has compromised your immune system. You have AIDS if your CD4 count is 200 or less cells per cubic millimetre. You have a significant risk of contracting cancer or life-threatening illnesses if you have AIDS.
  • When you don't have HIV: A low CD4 count may be caused by an infection even if you do not have HIV. Low CD4 levels can also result from chemotherapy for cancer and immune-suppressing drugs. A low CD4 count might occasionally have unknown causes, however this is rare.

High CD4 Count

Counts that are higher than usual might indicate an infection or blood malignancy.

Despite the fact that there is no cure for HIV, you may regulate the infection and safeguard your immune system by using a variety of medications. In reality, these medications frequently result in an increase in CD4 levels, which promotes your good health. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions when taking your medication and to undergo routine blood tests, including CD4 levels, if you have HIV.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I find out my CD4 count?

In order to find the CD4 level take the CD4 Lymphocyte Count test.

2. Why is the CD4 test prescribed?

When you are suspected to have HIV infection, CD4 levels and an HIV viral are tested to determine if the condition will get worse over time (progress), identify the necessity for therapy or how soon to begin treatment in order to prevent future infections and analyze your immune system.

3. What is the cost of the CD4 count test?

The cost of CD4 count test ranges between Rs.900 to Rs. 2000. However it might vary due to place.

4. What are signs of low CD4 count?

Symptoms of low CD4 count are:

  • Tongue changes (white patches, redness)
  • Mouth pain.
  • Taste changes.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Vaginal yeast infections.
  • Herpes simplex virus.
  • Sores on the mouth
  • Salmonella.
  • Fever.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Vision changes.
  • Confusion.
  • Seizures.

5. What can I do to increase my CD4?

HIV treatment, and medication, is the only proven method to gradually boost CD4 cell count.

6. Does a CD4 test done on empty stomach?

The day before your testing, there is no need to take any special precautions.

7. Which diseases lower CD4 levels?

Although HIV is undoubtedly the most frequent cause of CD4 lymphocytopenia in adults, additional factors like infections, autoimmune conditions, immunosuppressive medications, cancer, and idiopathic forms can lower CD4 levels.

8. What is the normal level of CD4 count?

The normal range of CD4 cell count is between 500 to 1500 cells/mm^3.

Where can i get CD4 test in Hyderabad?

Medicover Hospitals offers the CD4 test in Hyderabad.

Where can I get best treatment for HIV?

Get the best treatment for HIV at Medicover Hospitals.