The enumeration of lymphocyte subsets is important in a variety of conditions such as primary immunodeficiency (eg Severe Combined Immunodeficiency / SCID) or the monitoring of drug therapies such as retuximab in autoimmune disorders. However the most common use is in the monitoring Human Immunodeficiency Virus / HIV, a secondary immunodeficiency disorder.
To ensure that the programme meets the requirements of all users the programme issues stabilised whole blood with laboratories required to determine the lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD3+/CD4+, CD3+/CD8+, CD19+ and CD16+/56+).
Laboratories are requested to report both percentage and absolute values (in cells per microlitre), and performance is monitored using this data, unless a centre chooses to eschew either parameter in which case they would not be performance monitored for the relevant parameters. Two samples are issued per trial and this programme issues trials a minimum of 4 times per annum and a maximum of 6.
For a guide on how to enter data into the UK NEQAS LI online system please see the following video, for the best experience we would suggest watching the video in 1080p resolution