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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Immunology

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Lymphocyte Function Assay

Also known as: T cell proliferation by CFSE staining; PHA stimulation assay; T cell proliferation assay

All requests for lymphocyte function assays must be discussed with the Laboratory's medical staff and/or Senior Clinical Scientist.

The lymphocyte function assay uses staining with the fluorescent dye CFSE to assess the ability of a patients T cells to proliferate to the mitogen PHA.

Indicated in patients with suspected T cell immunodeficiency:

  1. Children who have suffered from frequent viral infections or unusual/opportunistic infections.
  2. Patients with DiGeorge syndrome

Please note this assay only assesses the ability of the patients T cells to proliferate to the mitogen PHA, not to individual antigens.

Specimen requirements

Heparinised blood samples are required. Optimal blood volumes are:

  1. 6-8ml for children over 10 years of age and adults
  2. 4-6ml for children 2-10 years of age
  3. 3ml for children under 2 years of age
  4. Increased blood volume is required if the patient is lymphopaenic.

Samples should be taken on Tuesday - Friday and must be received in the Immunology Laboratory within 8 hours of venepuncture and before 3pm. Samples must not have been refrigerated or centrifuged.

A healthy control sample is required for each assay. If the sample is being transported from another hospital please include a control sample (from an unrelated, healthy adult) as a transport control.

Cost

Price on application

Laboratory turnaround time

10 days

Laboratory method

FACSCanto

Reference range/units

Normal/Abnormal

Associated tests

An Antigen-specific lymphocyte function assay maybe available but must be discussed beforehand on 01865 (2)25993.

Shipping and storage

  • Samples must be received in the Immunology Laboratory on Tuesday - Friday within 8 hours of venepuncture and before 3pm.
  • Samples must NOT have been refrigerated or centrifuged.
  • For samples transported from other hospitals, please include a control sample (from an unrelated, healthy adult) as a transport control.
  • Local venepuncture may be arranged (please contact a senior member of staff).

Further information and contact details

For further information, email immunology.office@nhs.net