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Test Code NK FUNCT NK Functional Analysis

Important Note

Samples should be drawn Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM - 13:00 PM ONLY.

Clinical System Name

NK Functional Analysis


Natural Killer Function

HLH: NK Function

NK Cell Function

Natural Killer Cell Function


Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of cytotoxic lymphocytes that have the ability to induce cell death in tumor cells or in virally infected cells. NK cells play a crucial role in the homeostasis of the immune system. They are typically characterized by the expression of CD16 and CD56 on their cell surface.

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Whole Blood

Container(s): Dark Green/Sodium Heparin

Preferred Vol: See Table Below

Minimum Vol: Call Send Outs at (206) 987-2563


Notes: Samples should be drawn Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM - 13:00 PM ONLY. Samples drawn outside of these times will be rejected. Send the sample(s) to the Main Lab immediately. Whole blood samples MUST reach the reference lab within 24 hours of the blood draw. 



ALC (K/mcL) ALC (cells/mcL) mL of Sodium Heparin blood required
>1.00 >1000 5.0
1.00 1000 5.0
0.90 900 5.5
0.80 800 6.0
0.70 700 6.5
0.60 600 7.5
0.50 500 9.0
0.40 400 11.0
0.30 300 15.0
0.20* 200* 25.0*
0.10* 100* 45.0*
<0.10* <100* 50.0*


NOTE: ** For Absolute Lymphocyte Counts (ALC) below 200 cells/mcL, consider waiting until count increases.

Processing Instructions

Reject due to: Frozen, clotted, hemolyzed or centrifuged specimens.

Spin: N

Aliquot: N

Temp: RT

Storage Location: Affix a large Cerner label to the tube(s) and place in the room temperature Send Outs rack. Store extra labels and copy of requisition in the box attached to CPA refrigerator. Alert Send Outs team. 


Off-site collection: No off-site collection.


Specimen Type Temperature Time
  Room temp 24 h
  Refrigerated Unacceptable
  Frozen Unacceptable



STAT Performed TAT
N M - F 4 d


Performing Laboratory

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory

DIL - Rm R2328

3333 Burnet Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039


Phone: (513) 636-4685


Department: Send Outs

Phone: (206) 987-2563

Reference Range

Interpretive report is provided.


Method: Chromium Release

Analytical Volume: See "Sample Requirements" section for more information.


CPT Codes

86352, 86357

Send Out Instructions

Reference Test Name: Natural Killer Function (NK Function)
Reference Test Number: 2900800
Instructions: Send Monday - Thursday via FedEx PRIORITY Overnight to Cincinnati Children's at room temperature.