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What does %CD4 mean?
Nov 18, 2007

Hi

My partner's %CD4 is 14%. What does this mean? The lab where he got his test done said the range should be 26-40%.

His CD4 is 486 and the viral load is 51,195. I read ealrier posts about starting meds at 350 CD4 level. What about viral load? Should we be looking at that at all? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

CD4 percentage is a supplemental way of estimating the amount of CD4 cells in the body. CD4 absolute count is another method that actually is a calculated value that is dependent on CD4%.

There are a variety of conditions where the absolute count may not accurately reflect the CD4 percentage- conditions such as elevations in white blood cell counts, splenectomy or bone marrow disease.

We typically expect that for each CD4% of 7 units, there should be approximately 100 absolute counts. Hence, your partner has a percentage of 14, yielding an expected CD4 absolute count of 200.

Given these values, if confirmed by repeated tests, I would be considering HIV treatment.

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