by Chris Douglas on Wednesday, March 2, 2011:
The UK Department of Health has confirmed that most of the immune profile tests that would show abnormalities in people with ME are not available on the NHS. How can you diagnose, research and treat a disease if you don’t have the appropriate tests for it? And, even if these tests were available on the NHS, who would be able to interpret them and prescribe subsequent treatment?
People bleat on about thieir 'human right' to blow into a paper bag. How about our human right to have tests that might actually show what is wrong with us?
The DoH reply is as follows.
Thank you for your email of 30 January about immune profile tests. I have been asked to reply. With regard to your question about the availability of certain immune profile tests on the NHS:
- cytokines, interferons and TNF Alpha are not routinely available but some immunology departments can do them in a research capacity;
- faecal elastase is available;
- RNase-L activity is not available;
- NK cell and T cell numbers percentage are available in larger immunology laboratories;
- NKT cells are not routinely available; and
- NK functional assays are not offered.
I hope this information will be helpful.
The question was as follows.
Please can you confirm which of the following tests are available on the NHS.
Interferon Gamma circulating levels
Interleukin 10 circulating levels
Interleukin 12 circulating levels
Interleukin 1 Beta circulating levels
Interleukin 2 circulating levels
Interleukin 4 circulating levels
Interleukin 6 circulating levels
Interleukin 8 circulating levels
TNF Alpha circulating levels
% NK Cells in blood (CD16,CD56+/CD3-)
% Specific cell lysis
% Lytic activity
% T-Cells in blood (CD3+)
Total T-Cell (CD3+) Absolute Count
NK Cells (CD56+) Absolute Count
NK:NK-T Ratio (the ratio of CD3-/CD56+ (NK) cells to CD3+/CD56+ (NK-T) cells)
Lytic Unit 30% (LU30)