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Blood Test Question

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Persimmon, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Persimmon

    Persimmon Senior Member

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    What are the blood tests to have done regarding natural killer cells?
    CD59?
    Other?
    And what is the difference between a "functional" vs ordinary blood test for NK cells?
    (I read that an ordinary measurement on NK cell levels is useless for our purposes: it has to be a test of functional NK cells, or something like that.)

    And is there any reason to have CD20 measured?

    Any knowledgeable guidance would be appreciated.
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    australia (brisbane)
    nk function test is usually only done in a research study but could maybe get this done if you ask around some of the universities doing these tests.
    NK cells are generally cd56 and cd3. cd57 is also mentioned but seems to be mentioned more with lyme disease. As you mentioned the numbers of nk cells doesnt tell alot as many cfs patients have normal numbers but very low function. If u can get all your T-cells measured ie lymphocyte sub set test and many are high then u could say your immune system is activated and trying to fight something?? cd8 t-cells commonly involved with ebv/cmv/hhv6 infections but its only a guide.

    cheers!!!
  3. Tony Mach

    Tony Mach Show me the evidence.

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    Upper Palatinate, Bavaria
    The simplest test is to count the number of NK cells one finds in a certain amount of blood. Unless you have a really deadly disease, this number tends to be normal in people, including ME/CFS patients.

    The functional test (which is called NK cell cytotoxicity, or NKcc for short) is a sort of "cell death match". In the lab, they take a certain amount of NK cells out of your blood sample and let them loose on certain cancer cell line (that is a sort of cancer cells they keep growing in the lab to do all sorts of test). After some time, they measure how many of their cancer cells were killed by your NK cells. And the "cyto-toxic" part of NKcc basicly means "deadly to (certain) cells".

    As a example: Let's say they match up 200 of your NK cells against 200 of their cancer cells. After a certain amount of time (let's say 8 hours), they count how many cancer cells have been killed by your NK cells. Let's say the normal/average number of killed cancer cells is 100 then if your NK cells kill 70 cancer cells, your cells have only 70 percent function.

    Only few labs do NK cell function, but it is available outside of research.

    In ME/CFS patients, usually the number of NK cells is normal, but the function is rather low low two digits, or even lower.

    About CD59 and CD20: The CDx thingy are markers on the cells. Every cell type has a unique set of markers. One thing labs can do is attach a florescent marker specific to a certain cell type, in order to count these cells. It is like putting "post-it marker" on only certain cells in order to count them (and the counting could be done by humans in a microscope, but is done by machines called "flow cytometrie"). So usually the CDx name is a synonym for a certain cell type.

    Dr. Nancy Klimas found that that NK cells seem to "shed" a certain marker called CD26, which can then be found "floating freely" in the blood. It is then called "soluble CD26" or sCD26 for short. The test for sCD26 seems to get very similar results to the NK cell function, but is a lot easier. But I don't know if there are many commercial labs out there that can do the sCD26 test.

    The NKcc test seems reasonable to do. The sCD26 could be a cheaper alternative if available. All other tests are "nice to know", but unless a doctor orders them (because she/he suspects something), I would think twice whether you really need them and have the money for them.
    ahimsa likes this.
  4. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    Wetumpka Alabama
    You can get the proper testing at the EM Papper Lab at the Unversity of Miami. The number is 305 243 6288, yu could call and ask but I believe if your doctor orders it tehy will do it. That is the lab Dr. Klimas uses and I think Peterson does now too for those test. I overnighted my last blood before seeing Dr. Klimas again last summer. They file all the insurance.

    No one every looked at my immune system bedfore and and that is where a lot of trouble was. My killer cells were only working at 5%, in August they were up in the low range of normal. The cyokines were raging as well and lower this time.
  5. Persimmon

    Persimmon Senior Member

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    Thank you all - REALLY helpful.
    Particular thanks to Tony for taking the time to explain the background info (which I'd never understood properly).

    I'll try to find out where (if anywhere) such tests can be done in Australia.
  6. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    australia (brisbane)
    In australia im pretty sure is only done in research studies. Bond university on the gold coast is just finishing its cfs study on nk function. Maybe ask them if its available outside of this study, although i would think would be pricey. Also maybe ask them if u can be in any future cfs studies which i think they will be doing as i have heard they have just recieved are good sized grant for further research into cfs. Getting into one of these studies maybe the way of getting a nk function test.

    Other immune tests that you can get any GP in australia to authorize that may be helpful and are covered by medicare, so no out of pocket expenses are Immunoglobulin Specific Proteins master (measuring igg, iga and igm immunoglobulins), lymphocyte subset test. If you havent already, specific infections common in cfs - ebv, cmv, hhv6, mycoplasma, chlamydia pnuemonia.

    cheers!!!
  7. Persimmon

    Persimmon Senior Member

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    Thanks again h'r'. I contacted Bond Uni this afternoon, and made a note of your other guidance.

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