CD4/CD8 Ratio

Optimal Result: 0.92 - 3.72 Ratio.

This test looks at the ratio of two important types of white blood cells in your blood.

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell in your immune system. This test looks at two of them, CD4 and CD8.

CD4 cells lead the fight against infections. CD8 cells can kill cancer cells and other invaders.

This test looks at the ratio of CD4 cells to CD8 cells. The ratio tells your healthcare provider how strong your immune system is and helps predict how likely you are to develop an infection.

In addition to HIV/AIDS, conditions that can be monitored with this test include infectious mononucleosis and other viral infections, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin disease, aplastic anemia, and neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis. 

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

Results for the ratio are given as a number. 

A normal CD4/CD8 ratio is greater than 1.0, with CD4 lymphocytes ranging from 500 to 1200/mm 3 and CD8 lymphocytes ranging from 150 to 1000/mm 3.

What does it mean if your CD4/CD8 Ratio result is too low?


A decreased CD4/CD8 ratio can be indicative of several medical conditions. This change is often associated with HIV/AIDS, where the virus specifically targets CD4 T-cells, leading to their depletion relative to CD8 T-cells. Additionally, a lower ratio can be observed in other conditions that suppress or affect the immune system, including certain viral infections, immunodeficiency disorders, or after receiving immunosuppressive therapy. It's important to evaluate this ratio in the context of the overall clinical picture and alongside other diagnostic results.

What does it mean if your CD4/CD8 Ratio result is too high?

A high CD4/CD8 ratio in a T + B-Lymphocyte Differential panel can be indicative of several conditions. Commonly, it might suggest an immune system response to an acute viral infection or certain autoimmune diseases. In these scenarios, the increase in the ratio reflects an overactive immune response. Additionally, this elevated ratio can be observed in the recovery phase of HIV/AIDS treatment, where antiretroviral therapy leads to a more significant increase in CD4 cells compared to CD8 cells. However, interpreting this ratio should be done in conjunction with other clinical assessments and findings.

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