low NK cell count.....

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Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1172
   Posted 10/23/2009 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
 I just got the results of my CD56 test. The reference ranges were (106-451) and (5-23). My numbers were 43 and 1. The doctor said that my NK cell count was low and that the cells could never be replaced. These are the cells that fight cancer, viruses bacteria etc..  She said to take the results to my new LLMD in Nov. That's about all she said....
Does anyone else here have low NK cells? Is there treatment for this? How bad is this? Does this mean that I will never get well?
  Thanks, GG :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 348
   Posted 10/23/2009 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
georgia I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your question, but I am interested to see what the response will be.
Can I ask you how was your CBC regulare blood work? Did that come back normal?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2300
   Posted 10/23/2009 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Georgiagirl ~
I have some advice for you. Please send me an email...

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Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1172
   Posted 10/23/2009 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
ria123, my CBC was normal. I did test positive for HSV1. All other bloodwork was normal. Still waiting on an IGENEX test.

kandinsky, How are you? I haven't been around much lately. I did send you an e-mail.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 10/24/2009 1:01 AM (GMT -7)   
hey buddy, check the responses on my post when you get a chance- it seems a low killer count is associated with lyme. If you have more questons you can post them under the responses and maybe someone will have an answer. +Lyme says they may be able to help you interpret your results. there has to be something the LLMDs do for low NK counts. I think it is interesting that it relates to both lyme and HIV.
I refuse to stay sick! Period. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 10/24/2009 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm wondering why your doctor did a CD56 instead of a CD57? A low CD56 is usually seen in Chronic Fatigue Patients but you can also have CFS if you have Lyme Disease. Ask your doctor to do an NK Striker Panel CD57. Your CD57 is usually low in Lyme patients.

I'm not sure why your doctor said that the cells could not be replaced because from what I'm understanding, this is your immune system, so yes, you can boost your immune system with Vitamin C or supplements like that. Getting treated for Lyme Disease usually brings those numbers up too.

Here is some great information that explains it all. You may want to open the link and read the rest of the information as well. I like how this site explains everything.

The percentage of CD56+ NK cells is
often measured in patients with
chronic diseases as a marker of
immune status: the lower the
CD56 level, the weaker the
immune system. You may have
heard Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
patients talk about their CD56

A smaller population of
NK cells are CD57+. A below normal
count has been associated
with chronic Lyme disease by the
work of Drs. Raphael Stricker and
Edward Winger.

No one knows
for sure why CD57+ NK cells are
low in Lyme disease patients, but
it is important to note that many
disease states that are often confused
with chronic Lyme (MS,
systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
are not associated with low
CD57+ NK counts.

The good
news is that for most Lyme
patients the CD57+ NK level
increases as treatment progresses
and health is regained.
CD57 markers can also be
expressed on other kinds of cells,
including T-cells, so it is important
to distinguish between
CD57+ T-cells and CD57+ NK

The standard normal range for the
absolute CD57 NK count is 60 to
360 cells per microliter of blood.
This wide range was established
based upon test results of hundreds
of healthy patients. By
these laboratory standards, a test
result below 60 cells per microliter
would be considered below
normal and therefore associated
with chronic Lyme disease.

**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1172
   Posted 10/25/2009 6:38 AM (GMT -7)   
cajungrl, I had a CD57 also. It was my second one in 2 yrs. They were both normal. They were 280 and 252.
My immunologist is the doctor that said that my NK cells cannot be replaced. She has been an immunologist for 25 yrs. so I guess she knows what she's talking about. I wish she had gone more into detail on the phone with me. Maybe I should call her back.
Thanks GG
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