Lymphocyte proliferative response

Last updated: Monday, 22, March, 2004

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Item Process

30 mL blood in preservative-free heparin.


The proliferative response to specific antigen or mitogen (eg, phytohaemagglutinin [PHA], concanavalin A, pokeweed mitogen) is demonstrated by uptake of tritiated thymidine or expression of differentiation markers.

Reference Interval

Consult pathologist.


Assessment of cell mediated immune competence.

May be of use in assessment of histocompatibility differences in organ transplantation.

Rarely indicated as a diagnostic test outside tranplantation area.


Impaired T lymphocyte proliferative response to mitogen or to HLA-incompatible stimulator cells indicates depressed cell mediated immunity.


Fletcher M et al. In: Rosen NR et al eds. Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. 4th ed. ASM Press 1997.