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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
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Inconsistent Lab Numbers
Nov 19, 2011

Diagonized in April, 2011 but i think was infected in 2004. My first lab results were Cd4 568, 3 months later they came back as 154, my doc thought it must be a mistake because my clinical signs are still good, (weight at 84, no visible signs at all) he ordered the cd4 test repeated and it came to 577 in August. My VL was given as 7300.Trying to check for an insurance cover 2 weeks ago, they again gave my CD4 as 194 but also think they are wrong because of lack of any clinical signs. Is there a reason for such inconsistent CD4 counts and what do i trust.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Another number to follow is the CD4 percent, which is a much more stable number over time. The CD4 count can vary depending on time of day, other ongoing medical conditions, vaccinations, stress, different labs, among other reasons. This kind of variation would be too great for assay variation. However, if none of these types of reasons exist and the CD4 percent has remained stable, I would not be concerned.



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