The CD16 test is performed to check if the patient is suffering from any chronic infections. In the case of women, it is used to check for infertility issues. The test is done as part of the natural killer or NK Cell Panel along with the CD56 marker check. The specific killer cell test is done by blood collection and the CD16 test in Kolkata can be done at selective diagnostic centers.
Natural killer cells are a type of cytotoxic lymphocyte and are part of the human immune system. Also known as large granular lymphocytes or NK cells, they play a vital role in identifying and killing cells that are malignant in nature, like those seen in tumors. These NK cells also protect the body against viral infections.
The CD16 or FcγRIII are used to identify certain T-lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages. The CD16 molecule acts as signal transduction, as it is a Fc receptor and belongs to the immunoglobulin family.
The CD16 test is often prescribed when the patient is suspected to have been suffering from any one of the symptoms:
The CD16 test is used to detect the number of natural killer cells that are circulating in the body at the given time. When the infections mentioned above reach a stage where it becomes chronic, the NK cells can be found in abnormal levels.
The NK cells require CD16, since this molecule aids in cytokine expression, that helps regulate the expression of cytokine (cell signaling molecules). Along with CD16, the test also checks for CD56, which is a marker present on the natural killer cells.
The flow cytometry technique requires blood samples from the patient. The process of collecting blood is called venipuncture (when drawn from the veins) and this technique is safe and can be painless. An experienced phlebotomist does know how to quickly and effectively draw blood from the veins.
Blood collection poses no threats to health, but some people might suffer from weakness or itching around the area from where the blood was drawn. These side effects usually go away on their own.
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Sometimes, doctors add the CD16 test to the leukemia screening panel to monitor the number of natural killer cells present.
Some medications can act as CD16 suppressors and consulting a doctor prior to the test will help get accurate results.
Ideally, fasting is not required for the CD16 marker test, as the marker is present in the plasma and nutrients do not affect the level.
The CD16 staining provides detection of the following:
The test has a range that is depicted to be normal. This percentage is calculated by taking the collective amount of CD16, CD56, and NK cells. This range is between 5% to 29%. If the percentage of NK cells is more than 12% in women, it indicates infertility or miscarriage.
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