What is the role of CD4 T-cell count in the management of HIV infection?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Shelley A Gilroy, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The CD4 T-cell count is a reliable indicator of the current risk of acquiring opportunistic infections. CD4 counts vary, and serial counts are generally a better measure of any significant changes. The reference range for CD4 counts is 500-2000 cells/μL. After seroconversion, CD4 counts tend to decrease (around 700/μL on average) and continue to decline over time. For surveillance purposes, a CD4 count under 200/μL is considered AIDS-defining in the United States owing to the increased risk of opportunistic infections at this level. The magnitude of discordance between absolute CD4 T-cell numbers and CD4 T-cell percentages is greatest in those with active hepatitis C virus and more advanced liver disease. [98]


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