Time Sensitive
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.
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
No Pct CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells) 3.7 - 27.8 %
No Abs CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells) 75.0 - 559.9 cells/µL
No Pct CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells) 50.3 - 100.0 %
No Abs CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells) 43.6 - 545.5 cells/µL
No Pct CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK) 0.7 - 12.5 %
No Abs CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK) 2.2 - 16.6 cells/µL
No Pct CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells) 1.0 - 16.4 %
No Abs CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells) 18.0-297.7 cells/µL
No Pct CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells) 1.1 - 11.3 %
No Abs CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells) 16.5-255.9 cells/µL
No Pct CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells) 0.7 - 22.4 %
No Abs CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells) 9.5 - 528.8 cells/µL
No Pct CD45+CD3+ (T-cells) 56.0 - 86.0 %
No Abs CD45+CD3+ (T-cells) 687.2 - 2479.9 cells/µL
No Pct CD45+CD3-(Non T-cells) 13.1 - 42.4 %
No Abs CD45+CD3-(Non T-cells) 240.7 - 998.0 cells/µL
No Natural Killer T-cell Panel Interp See 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.

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
CPT Codes

86356 x7; 86357

Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
2013806 Pct CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells) 8112-5
2013807 Abs CD3-CD16-/+CD56br/dim(total NKcells) 9728-7
2013808 Pct CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells)
2013809 Abs CD3-CD16+CD56dim(cytotoxic NK-cells)
2013810 Pct CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK)
2013811 Abs CD3-CD16-CD56br (cyto secreting NK)
2013812 Pct CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells) 73904-5
2013813 Abs CD3-CD57+ (CD57 NK-cells) 73902-9
2013814 Pct CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells) 17135-5
2013815 Abs CD3+CD56+ (CD56 NKT-cells) 26858-1
2013816 Pct CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells) 51286-3
2013817 Abs CD3+CD57+ (CD57 NKT-cells) 50640-2
2013818 Pct CD45+CD3+ (T-cells) 56907-9
2013819 Abs CD45+CD3+ (T-cells)
2013820 Pct CD45+CD3- (Non T-cells)
2013821 Abs CD45+CD3- (Non T-cells)
2013822 Natural Killer T-cell Panel Interp 80722-2
* 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 click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.
Natural Killer Cell and Natural Killer T-Cell Panel