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Natural Killer Cells Blood Test

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The Natural Killer Cells Blood Test evaluates natural killer cell levels and activity, guiding diagnosis and management of immune-related disorders, infections, cancer, and reproductive health.


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Test Code:


CPT Code(s):



Flow Cytometry (FC)




No special preparation is required.

Test Results:

3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday, or lab delays.

Walk-In Lab is prohibited from selling Quest tests to residents in the following states:AZ, NY, NJ, RI

What is the purpose of this test?

The Natural Killer Cells Blood Test is a diagnostic test used to measure the number of natural killer (NK) cells in a person's bloodstream. NK cells are a type of white blood cell that are critical components of the immune system, responsible for detecting and destroying cells that are infected with viruses or have become cancerous. 

Healthcare providers typically order the test to evaluate immune system function and help diagnose various medical conditions. For example, a low number of NK cells can indicate a weakened immune system and may suggest that a person is vulnerable to infections or at higher risk of developing cancer. On the other hand, an abnormally high number of NK cells can be a sign of autoimmune disorders or chronic infections.

The Natural Killer Cells Blood Test is a simple and non-invasive procedure involving drawing a small blood sample from a patient's arm. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis, where the number of NK cells is measured. The test results can provide healthcare providers with valuable information about a patient's immune system health and help them make informed decisions about treatment options.

In summary, the Natural Killer Cells Blood Test is an important diagnostic tool that can help healthcare providers evaluate a patient's immune system function and identify potential health issues that may require treatment.

Benefits of the Natural Killer Cells Blood Test:

  1. Immunological Assessment: It provides valuable information about the number and activity of natural killer (NK) cells in the bloodstream, helping assess the immune system's ability to respond to infections and cancer.
  2. Diagnostic Aid: Abnormalities in NK cell levels or function can be indicative of certain immune disorders or underlying health conditions, aiding in the diagnosis and management of these conditions.
  3. Treatment Monitoring: The test can be used to monitor the effects of treatments aimed at modulating NK cell activity, such as immunotherapy for cancer or interventions for autoimmune diseases.
  4. Reproductive Health: In the context of reproductive medicine, assessing NK cell levels may be useful in investigating recurrent miscarriages or infertility, as abnormal NK cell function has been associated with these conditions.

When should I order a Natural Killer Cells Blood Test?

A Natural Killer Cells Blood Test is typically ordered if it is suspected a person's immune system is not functioning properly. Some of the common symptoms that may indicate a need for this test include:

  • Frequent infections
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Persistent fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Allergies or asthma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Cancer or a history of cancer
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Gastrointestinal issues

It's important to note that these symptoms may be indicative of other health conditions as well, and a healthcare provider should be consulted before ordering any tests.

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