Natural Killer Cell and Natural Killer T-Cell Panel
Ordering Recommendation

Evaluate NK and NKT cell subsets.

Semi-Quantitative Flow Cytometry
1-3 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Submit With Order
Time SensitiveTime Sensitive
ARUP Consult®
Disease Topics
Specimen Required
Patient Preparation
Green (Sodium or Lithium Heparin), Lavender (EDTA), or Pink (K2EDTA). 
Specimen Preparation
Transport 5 mL whole blood. (Min: 1 mL) 
Storage/Transport Temperature
Unacceptable Conditions
Clotted or hemolyzed specimens 
Specimens must be analyzed within 48 hours of collection.
New York State Clients: EDTA specimens must be analyzed within 30 hours of collection.  Heparin specimens must be analyzed within 48 hours of collection. 
Ambient: 48 hours; Refrigerated: Unacceptable; Frozen: Unacceptable
New York State Clients: Ambient: EDTA specimens: 30 hours, Heparin specimens: 48 hours; Refrigerated: Unacceptable; Frozen: Unacceptable 
Reference Interval
Available Separately
Reference Interval
NoPct CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells)3.7 - 27.8 %
NoAbs CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells)75.0 - 559.9 cells/µL
NoPct CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells)50.3 - 100.0 %
NoAbs CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells)43.6 - 545.5 cells/µL
NoPct CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK)0.7 - 12.5 %
NoAbs CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK)2.2 - 16.6 cells/µL
NoPct CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells)1.0 - 16.4 %
NoAbs CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells)18.0-297.7 cells/µL
NoPct CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells)1.1 - 11.3 %
NoAbs CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells)16.5-255.9 cells/µL
NoPct CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells)0.7 - 22.4 %
NoAbs CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells)9.5 - 528.8 cells/µL
NoPct CD45+CD3+ (T-cells)56.0 - 86.0 %
NoAbs CD45+CD3+ (T-cells)687.2 - 2479.9 cells/µL
NoPct CD45+CD3-(Non T-cells)13.1 - 42.4 %
NoAbs CD45+CD3-(Non T-cells)240.7 - 998.0 cells/µL
NoNatural Killer T-cell Panel InterpSee Note

Interpretive Data
Natural killer (NK) cells are identified by the absence of CD3 and the expression of CD16 and/or CD56. NK cells are divided according to the expression of CD16 and CD56 into cytotoxic NK cells (CD3-CD16+CD56dim) that represents approximately 90% of NK cells, and cytokine-secreting or regulatory NK cells (CD3-CD16-CD56bright) that represents approximately 10% of NK cells. NK cells act against virally-infected cells and tumor cells and may be increased or decreased in various immunologic abnormalities. NK cells also have a role in the adaptive immune response through cytokine production. NK-like T-cells have properties of both T-cells and NK-cells, expressing both CD3 and NK-associated antigens. NK-like T-cell subgroup populations reported are CD3+/CD56+ and CD3+/CD57+.

Note: The cytotoxic NK cells (CD3-CD16+CD56dim) and cytokine-secreting or regulatory NK cells (CD3-CD16-CD56bright) are reported as a percentage of the total NK cells. All other populations are reported as a percentage of the total lymphocytes.

Statement A: Compliance Statement A: For laboratory developed tests using a manufacturer labeled ASR as the reagent providing the specificity of the assay. Analyte Specific Reagent. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or cleared this test; however, the FDA has determined that such clearance or approval is not necessary.

Hotline History
Component Test Code*Component Chart NameLOINC
2013806Pct CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells)8112-5
2013807Abs CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells)9728-7
2013808Pct CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells)
2013809Abs CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells)
2013810Pct CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK)
2013811Abs CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK)
2013812Pct CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells)73904-5
2013813Abs CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells)73902-9
2013814Pct CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells)17135-5
2013815Abs CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells)26858-1
2013816Pct CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells)51286-3
2013817Abs CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells)50640-2
2013818Pct CD45+CD3+ (T-cells)56907-9
2013819Abs CD45+CD3+ (T-cells)
2013820Pct CD45+CD3- (Non T-cells)
2013821Abs CD45+CD3- (Non T-cells)
2013822Natural Killer T-cell Panel Interp80722-2
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please view this test within the Laboratory Test Directory found at