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Home > Lab Tests > Covid-19 Tests and IL-6 Vital System Monitoring

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine, which is a protein that helps in the regulation of the body’s immune responses. The protein acts on different types of cells and tissues in the body and promotes the differentiation of white blood cells, promotes cell growth for particular types of cells and inhibits it for others. An IL-6 test is performed as a marker of activation of the immune system and can help identify infection, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, etc.

The interleukin-6 test (IL-6 test) is performed to measure the amount of interleukin in the blood and is a marker for the activation of the immune system. The test is performed to evaluate and monitor the inflammatory responses of the body associated with COVID-19 and other infections, autoimmunity disorders, and different types of cancers. Elevated IL-6 levels may be indicative of an inflammatory response and that the patient may need more supportive care.

The IL-6 is a blood test prescribed to patients who show symptoms of suffering from infections, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular illnesses, etc. as it acts as a marker for the body’s inflammatory response. It is also prescribed to COVID-19 patients who are showing symptoms like difficulty in breathing, cough (with or without blood), pain, swelling, increased heart rate, redness and/or tenderness in the limbs, etc.

The normal test range for the IL-6 test or the Interleukin-6 test lies between 0-5.9 pg/ml. High levels of the protein in the IL-6 test report mean that the infected person faces a higher risk of mortality. Elevated levels also indicate increased severity of COVID-19 induced pneumonia and the need for additional ventilation and medical support.

No. There is no specific preparation that is required before getting the Interleukin-6 test performed. Even fasting, which is one of the most common preparations for most diagnostic tests, is not required as fasting does not affect the interleukin-6 levels. A small amount of blood is taken as a sample for the test. The interleukin-6 test is useful for monitoring the inflammatory responses in people who have been affected by COVID-19 and for the evaluation of infections, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, etc.

The interleukin-6 test is used as a non-specific marker for evaluating a patient’s inflammatory response. It is not a diagnostic test for specific diseases. High interleukin-6 levels indicate an inflammatory response but cannot explain why. In case the IL-6 report shows elevated numbers the result must be evaluated for the specific patient, based on their health condition and history. In case you have high interleukin-6 levels, you must visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

A blood sample is collected for the interleukin-6 test for COVID-19 patients. The expert technicians at Max Lab ensure complete safety and follow proper sanitisation precautions like wearing a mask/PPE kit, sanitised equipment, etc. while collecting the sample. In the sample collection procedure, a tourniquet is placed tightly on the upper arm and the patient is asked to make a fist to help with blood build-up. The skin will be cleaned to prevent bacteria from entering and a needle will be inserted into the vein to collect the blood.

The cost of an IL-6 test will vary with the panel you choose. At Max Lab, we offer a total of 5 panels for the IL-6 test:

  • IL-6 Mini Panel: This includes the IL-6 and D-Dimer tests.
  • IL-6 Essential Panel: It includes the IL-6, D-Dimer, and CRP- C-Reactive Protein tests.
  • IL-6 Advance Panel: It includes a total of 8 tests, which are the CBC, PT INR, D-Dimer, IL-6, CRP, LFT, LDH and Ferritin tests.
  • IL-6 Total Panel: It includes a total of 10 tests, which are the CBC, PT INR, D-Dimer, IL-6, CRP, LFT, LDH, Ferritin, Trop I and NT-proBNP tests.
  • IL-6 Exclusive Panel: It includes a total of 11 tests, which are the CBC, PT INR, D-Dimer, IL-6, CRP, LFT, LDH, Ferritin, Trop I, NT-proBNP, and Procalcitonin tests.

At Max Lab, the report for the IL-6 test is generated within 24 hours after sample collection. Once generated, you can also check your report online.

An IL-6 blood test panel in COVID-19 is recommended for patients who show severe symptoms like cough with blood (or even without), breathing difficulties, swelling, etc. The test acts as a biomarker that helps in determining the level of disease progression. High levels of Interleukin-6 in your bloodstream indicate an active COVID-19 infection and are generally associated with pulmonary inflammation and extensive lung damage. The test can help doctors evaluate the need for additional ventilation or medical support.

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