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What is CD4/CD8 ratio mean?

Mar 27, 1997

My husband is currently taking epivir,zerit,& invirase.His last CD4 count was 486 down from 568 and his last viral load count was 5586 in 12/96.A copy of the CD4 lab test shows CD4/CD8 ration 0.37 and the techs impression was that compared to last study,absolut number of CD4 lymphocytes was further decreased while the absolute number of CD8 lymphocytes was further increased.Was does this all mean?He's having another viral load done today bec his m.d. changed RX's in 2/97.He's been asymptomatic since he found out in 11/93.Thanks for your help.May God bless you for all the help that you give us.

Response from Dr. Cohen

My advice would be to ignore the CD4/CD8 ratio, which is rarely used anymore, and focus on the viral load, the absolute count CD4 count, and the CD4 percentage.

In your husband's case, the viral load is what is most important. If he's going to be on a protease inhibitor, that needs to be undetectable. Once that is achieved, the CD4 count (and the percent and the ratio) will do the best they can.

Seroconverted ~2.5 yrs ago, CD4=330, VLoad=1,000. Start treatment?
low T cell count with low viral load

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