Lymphocyte subsets: Reference ranges in an age- and gender-balanced population of Omani healthy adults


Correspondence to: Adhra Al-Mawali, Directorate of Research and Studies, Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 393, P.C. 113, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. E-mail:;


Country-specific reference ranges for adult peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets have been established in a few countries around the world; however, there have been no specific comprehensive studies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East, which investigated age and gender-specific reference ranges. Demographic and environmental factors may contribute to variations in these subsets around the world, and thus there is a great necessity for each country to establish its own reference ranges. Hence, the aim of this study is to establish lymphocyte subsets reference ranges for Omani healthy adults. Total, age, and gender-specific reference ranges were established using four-color flow cytometry analysis with an extensive panel of monoclonal antibodies in 50 healthy adult males and females aged between 18 and 57. Reference values were expressed as median and 95% confidence intervals for T cells—CD3+: 76.5 (57–89), CD4+: 45 (31–58), CD5+: 75 (58–85), CD7+: 80 (70–89), CD8+: 29.5 (19–43); B cells—CD10+: 1 (1–3), CD19+: 14 (6–23), CD20+: 14 (6–23), and NK cells—CD16+: 9 (3–22), CD56+: 13 (5–24), CD3/(CD16+/CD56+): 7 (3–20). In comparison with other published studies, the lymphocyte subsets reference ranges in healthy Omani adults were similar to those reported in the rest of the world. These observations have important clinical implications in lymphocyte subset analysis in Oman, especially in the management of immunological disorders. The reference ranges established by this study can be adopted as a reference for clinical practice decisions. © 2013 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry