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CD4 or CD4??

Sep 8, 2002

Dear Mark - my 1st set of labs are as follows;

CD4 - 331 CD4 36 WBC - 2500 Lymphocyte - 37

I am not sure how to interpret these results in terms of what they say about the strength of my immune system. A CD4 of 36 seems very good whilst an absolute CD4 of 330 work indicate I need to start on meds. Clearly the low CD4 is a function of the low WBC - what is the significance of this? Please let me know what you would advise a patient with these labs

Many Thanks

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You are correct. The CD4 percentage is essentially normal, but the absolute count is low because of the total white blood cell count. The question is why is your WBC low? Certain meds can do this. Certain diseases can as well. Given your current CD4 count, it is unlikely that any HIV specific opportunistic infections would be active to cause this. You don't indicate what your viral load level is. If the viral load is quite low, I would probably recommend not starting treatment. If the viral load is high, I might suggest starting treatment.

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