CD4+ lymphocyte reference ranges in healthy adults in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

  • O Erhabor
  • CA Nwauche
  • OA Ejele
  • S Babatunde


Aims and Objectives: Reference values are essential for the interpretation of data in clinical practice and research studies. The aim of this study was to establish reference ranges for CD4 lymphocytes in healthy HIV-negative Nigerians.

Methodology: 200 healthy Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) antibody free individuals constituted the subjects for this study. 150 HIV-infected without AIDS-defining illness and 150 HIV-infected with AIDS-defining illness were included as controls.

Results: Participants were aged 18-63years (mean age 34 ± 9.2years). the CD4 lymphocyte count of healthy Nigerians mean SD 685 ± 99, 95% CI 487 883 was twice that of HIV-infected subjects without AIDS-defining illness (314 ± 45, 95% CI 224 404). The CD4 lymphocyte count of HIV-infected with AIDS-defining illness was one fourth or less (148 ± 30, 95% CI 88 208). The mean AIDS-defining CD4 lymphocyte count was (148 30 cells/ul). Healthy women had significantly higher mean absolute CD4 lymphocyte count (729 ± 87, 95% CI 555 to 903) compared to men (647 ± 93, 95% CI 460 to 833) (p< 0.001). Age was found negatively correlated with CD4 lymphocyte count in healthy Nigerians (r = -.01, p<0.05). The absolute CD4 lymphocyte count and ranges of healthy HIV-negative Nigerians was significantly lower than those of Dutch and Ethiopian controls (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Caucasian CD4 lymphocyte reference values are not applicable to Nigerians, as it does not reflect the Nigerian CD4 lymphocyte population.

Keywords: CD4 lymphocyte count, reference ranges, Port Harcourt, Nigerians

Sahel Medical Journal Vol. 8(3) 2005: 71-75

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eISSN: 1118-8561