Large unstained cells (LUC) are cells that can’t be called stem cells, normal lymphocytes (white blood cells) or virocytes. Clinical laboratories running blood and other medical tests will report on the percentage of large unstained cells on their test results. They are actually activated lymphocytes and peroxidase-negative cells.
In one study, researchers found that the percentage of LUC significantly increased in a group of patients with HIV who had no symptoms of the disease and were not being treated for it. The increase in the percentage correlated with the CD4 counts and markers of immune system activation. Thus, the LUC test may be a valuable test in identifying HIV patients who could have a rapid progression in their disease.
Other researchers report that the large unstained cells could mean viral infection, leukemia, or fungal infection such as aspergillosis. In one study, researchers found that when the percentage of large unstained cells increased, the markers of inflammation in the body also increased. This study was done in patients with aspergillosis fungal infections.
Normal Ranges for Large Unstained Cells (LUC) in number x 10E3/uL:
Optimal range: 0-0.4 x10E3/uL
There is no known correlation to health issues with low levels of large unstained cells.
Some specific causes of high levels of large unstained cells could be due to:
- Viral infections, such as HIV (Not all viruses cause the increase in large unstained cells.)
- Fungal infections, such as aspergillosis
- Chronic renal failure
- Postoperative response
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