Genesis of NK cells and difficulties with blood draws

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Question from Lynn:
Two questions (1) What is the genesis of NK cells?  And (2) Are problems with hemolyzation peculiar to CLL patients?  

Answer from Dr. Leclair:  
NK cells come from the same sites as T and B lymphocytes—the lymph nodes and lymph organs. They are a subset of T lymphocytes.  

One of the "rules" is that cells concentrate potasssium in their cytoplasm while they release sodium into the plasma. SO if there is a large degree of cell death (from any cell type), the potassium will increase in the plasma until the kidneys can excrete it. It can be seen in any situation of cell death so hemolysis of red cells, too many platelets, too many white cells, cell death due to physical or chemical injury, etc. 

It is not a surprise that you saw it in a situation that put you in the hospital. 

The problem with blood collection through the PICC line is that the surface area of the PICC line can (because it is a foreign surface) itself cause the breakage so, yes, the collection via the "traditional" method is the better method—for everybody. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Have a question for the experts? Send them to questions@patientpower.info.

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Page last updated on April 25, 2019