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The IHC - CD4 test is a form of immunohistochemistry (IHC) testing that involves staining tissue samples with an antibody that specifically identifies the CD4 protein. CD4 is a glycoprotein found on the surface of certain cells, including T helper cells, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells.

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) uses antibodies to detect the presence of specific proteins in tissue sections. It is a valuable tool in diagnostic pathology, helping clinicians to confirm or rule out diseases based on the protein expression in cells. In the context of CD4, this test can provide essential information about the immune status of a patient, and can be a critical component in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of diseases like HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancer, and autoimmune disorders.

  • Test NameIHC - CD4
  • Sample TypeTissue
  • Preparations RequiredNo specific instructions are required for this test as it is conducted on a tissue sample obtained by your healthcare provider.
  • Report Time3 days

What does the IHC - CD4 test involve?

The IHC - CD4 test involves staining a tissue sample with an antibody that binds to the CD4 protein. This allows for the visualization of CD4-positive cells under a microscope, providing important information about the patient's immune system.

Why is the IHC - CD4 test important?

The IHC - CD4 test is crucial in diagnosing and monitoring conditions that affect the immune system. For instance, it can help determine the stage and progression of diseases like HIV/AIDS or evaluate the immune response in certain cancers.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
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Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

The test requires a tissue sample, which is obtained through a biopsy. The sample is then stained with the CD4 antibody and examined under a microscope to identify and quantify the presence of CD4-positive cells.

A high CD4 count in a tissue sample could indicate an active immune response. However, the meaning of a high CD4 count can vary depending on the specific context and disease process.

A low CD4 count often suggests a weakened immune system. This is commonly seen in individuals with HIV/AIDS, where the virus targets and destroys CD4 cells.

Tissue sampling or biopsy procedures vary depending on the site from which the tissue is being taken. In general, you can expect the area to be numbed with a local anesthetic. You might feel pressure or a slight pinching sensation, but it should not be significantly painful.

As with any procedure that breaks the skin, there's a risk of bleeding, infection, or an allergic reaction to the anesthetic. The specific risks can depend on the biopsy site and individual patient factors.

Generally, no special preparation is needed for a biopsy. However, your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions based on your health history and the type of biopsy being performed.

The results will be sent to your healthcare provider, who will then discuss them with you.

A10: The turnaround time can vary, but it typically takes a few days.

Yes, the IHC - CD4 test can be used to monitor the progress of treatments in diseases that affect the immune system, like HIV/AIDS or certain types of cancer.

The IHC - CD4 test is highly accurate when performed correctly. However, it's important to note that test accuracy can be influenced by various factors, including the quality of the tissue sample and the procedures followed in the lab.

Yes, the quality of the tissue sample, the lab's procedures, and the interpretation of results by a pathologist can affect the outcome of the IHC - CD4 test.

There are several other tests and procedures that can provide information about your immune system. The choice of tests will depend on your specific circumstances and the information needed by your healthcare provider.

The other tests you might need will depend on your specific clinical context. These could include other immunohistochemistry tests, blood tests, or imaging studies, among others.

The IHC - CD4 test is a powerful tool in diagnostic pathology that can provide critical information about your immune status. Understanding what this test involves and what the results mean can help you navigate your health journey. Remember, your healthcare provider is there to guide you through this process and answer any questions you may have.

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