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Lymphocyte subset counts in skin puncture and venous blood compared.
  1. S E Cracknell,
  2. R F Hinchliffe,
  3. J S Lilleyman
  1. University of Sheffield Department of Paediatrics, Children's Hospital, Western Bank.


    To determine whether skin puncture blood can be used reliably for CD4 lymphocyte counts, the numbers of the major subsets of lymphocytes were assessed in paired venous and skin puncture blood samples from 22 children and 10 adults. Paired values were highly correlated, with skin puncture values being about 7% higher than venous values for each cell type. Differences were of borderline statistical significance for total lymphocytes and for each subset except CD3+ CD8+ T lymphocytes. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the differences was small and unlikely to be of clinical importance, and it seems that skin puncture samples may be preferable for CD4 counts in children or adults with difficult venous access.

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