Leukocyte Antibody Detection(LAD)

Many couples experience multiple miscarriages or unexplained pregnancy loss when trying to become pregnant. If you and your partner are having difficulties becoming pregnant, it may be important to participate in various different fertility tests.

The Leukocyte Antibody Detection (LAD) test can sometimes offer information on why you may be having fertility issues.

What are Leukocyte Antibodies?

Leukocyte antibodies are cells found in your body that attack leukocytes. Leukocytes are commonly referred to as white blood cells. Found in your blood, bone marrow, and lymph tissues, they are responsible for attacking foreign bacteria and other invaders that enter your body.

During pregnancy, leukocytes can sometimes attack the cells of your fetus. In order to protect your baby and maintain your pregnancy, your body creates antibodies to these leukocytes. Every pregnant woman should test positive for a certain level of leukocyte antibodies.

Who Has Leukocyte Antibodies

Leukocyte antibodies can develop in both men and women. Leukocyte antibodies are typically found in people who are:

  • pregnant
  • receiving blood transfusions
  • receiving donated organs

Leukocyte Antibodies and Infertility

Low levels of leukocyte antibodies have been linked with fertility problems. Women with lower-than-normal levels of the antibodies are more likely to:

  • experience a miscarriage
  • have a stillbirth
  • have repeated spontaneous abortions

The Leukocyte Antibody Detection Test

The LAD test is a simple blood test that can be performed by your reproductive endocrinologist. It is usually done at your fertility clinic. A blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm. It is then send to a laboratory for testing.

Who Can Benefit from the Leukocyte Antibody Detection Test?

The LAD test is often used to detect antibody levels in pregnant women or people undergoing blood transfusion or organ transplant operations. Women struggling with infertility can also benefit from the test. You may be suitable for the LAD test if you have experienced:

  • unexplained infertility
  • multiple miscarriages
  • continued IVF failure

The Results

Results of your LAD test should be available within a week or so. Your reproductive endocrinologist will help to explain the results of your test.

Normal Results: Normal results indicate that you have tested positive for leukocyte antibodies in your bloodstream. A normal LAD level is above 50%.

Borderline Normal: Borderline normal results mean that you do have leukocytes antibodes in your blood, but in less than typical quantities. A measurement between 30% and 50% is considered borderline.

Abnormal Results: Abnormal results indicate very low levels of leukocyte antibodies in the bloodstream. Levels of less than 30% are considered abnormal.

After the Leukocyte Antibody Detection Test

After you receive the results from your LAD test, you and your partner should discuss possible fertility treatment alternatives. If you have tested negative for leukocyte antibodies, this may be a factor contributing to your fertility issues.

Treatment is available for this condition. Leukocyte Immunization Therapy (LIT) helps to increase the level of leukocyte antibodies in your blood. You are injected with your partner's (or a donor's) white blood cells, which helps your body to increase its number of leukocyte antibodies. This should help you to maintain a pregnancy.


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