Interleukin 6 (IL6) Test

It helps to evaluate and monitor inflammatory responses such as infection, sepsis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis or to evaluate risk of diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

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What is an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test? 

Interleukin is a protein that works as an activation marker in the immune system. The inflammatory response of the human body can be monitored through an interleukin 6 test. Importantly, the IL-6 test helps to measure the amount of interleukin in the blood. Doctors say the interleukin-6 test is important in COVID.


What are the other names for an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test? 

The other names are the interleukin test and the IL-6 test. 

What are the test parameters included in an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test?

There is only one parameter: IL6.


What does an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test measure?

  • Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a protein that is produced by various cells in the body. It helps regulate immunity. The higher levels of oxygen responses make the IL-6 test potentially useful as a marker of immune system activation. IL-6 may be elevated because of inflammation, infection, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers. This test measures the amount of IL-6 in the blood.

  • Interleukin-6 is one of the largest groups of molecules called cytokines. These cytokines have multiple roles to play within the body and act especially within the immune system to help directly in the body’s immune response. These are the parts of the “inflammatory cascade” that involve the coordinated, sequential activation of the immune response pathways.

  • This IL-6 acts on various types of cells and tissues. It promotes the differentiation of the B-cells (white blood cells that produce the antibodies), and it promotes cell growth in some cells and inhibits growth in others. Then it stimulates the production of an acute phase of proteins. IL-6 also plays an important role in body temperature regulation, bone maintenance, and brain function. This is primarily pro-inflammatory but can also have anti-inflammatory effects.


What’s the normal range? 

Less than 5.0 pg/ml.

Who should get an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test? 

The IL-6 test is not frequently ordered. C-reactive protein (CRP) is the most commonly ordered test to determine inflammation, but IL-6 might be recommended in conjunction with or following a CRP test when a person shows the signs and symptoms of an inflammatory condition or infection and a health care practitioner wants additional information. An Interleukin 6 (IL6) test is recommended under the following conditions:

  • When a patient is suspected of having sepsis or septicemia

  • In autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, and even IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)

  • Certain types of cancer

  • Localised infections like periodontitis

  • Systemic infections like COVID-19

Preparations Needed for the  Interleukin 6 (IL6) Test?

There is no preparation for this test. Fasting is not required.

What is the cost of the Interleukin 6 (IL6) test?

What is the type of sample required?

This test requires a blood sample.

Who performs an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test?

A healthcare provider, who is also called a phlebotomist, usually performs blood draws, including those for an Interleukin 6 (IL6) blood test, but any healthcare provider trained in drawing blood can perform this task. The samples are sent to a lab where a medical laboratory scientist prepares the samples and performs the tests on analysers or manually.

What should I expect during my Interleukin 6 (IL6) test?

You can expect the experience the following during a blood test or blood draw:

  • You will have to sit comfortably on the chair, and a healthcare provider will check your arms for an easily accessible vein. This is the inner part of your arm on the other side of your elbow.

  • Once they have located a vein, they will clean and disinfect the area with an alcohol swab.

  • Then they will insert a small needle into your vein to draw a blood sample. This might feel like a small pinch.

  • After they have inserted the needle, the required amount of blood will collect in a test tube.

  • Once they have collected enough blood to test, they’ll remove the needle and hold a cotton ball or gauze on the site to stop any bleeding.

  • They will put a band-aid over the pricked site, and the blood collection is finished.

This process takes less than five minutes.

What should I expect after my  Interleukin 6 (IL6) test?

After a healthcare provider has collected the blood sample, they will send it to a laboratory for testing. When the test results are ready, your healthcare provider will share the results with you.

What are the risks of an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test?

These blood tests are very common and don’t carry any significant risks. You may have a  slight pain like an ant bite when the needle gets inserted, and a small bruise may develop there.

When can I expect my  Interleukin 6 (IL6) test results?

These reports are available via email or WhatsApp within 48 hours of the collection of the blood sample.

What do the results of an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test mean?

Usually, IL-6 is not detected in the blood or is present at lower levels..

An increased IL-6 may mean that the person is being tested for an inflammatory condition. IL-6 has been elevated in a variety of conditions and has been associated in some cases with an increased risk of the disease's development or worsening prognosis. An increase in IL-6 has been seen in conditions such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.

  • Infections

  • Sepsis

  • Some cancers

  • Diabetes

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Stroke



Elevated concentrations of interleukin-6 of > 7 pg/ml may indicate an ongoing inflammatory response, which could be consistent with a systemic infection or chronic inflammatory disease. For COVID-19 diagnosis, serum IL-6 > 32.1 pg/mL is a severity predictor*.

  • Caution

    • The Interleukin-6 (IL-6) test is a non-specific marker associated with inflammatory response and is not diagnostic of any specific disease or disease process. The elevated concentrations of IL-6 must be interpreted by the clinician in the clinical context of the patient.

    • The normal concentrations of IL-6 do not exclude the possibility of an ongoing inflammatory process.

    • Results should not be used as a diagnostic procedure without confirmation from another medically-established diagnostic product or procedure.


What are normal  Interleukin 6 (IL6) test results?

Less than 5.0 pg/ml.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

HSCRP, CKMB, Troponin I.

How do I book an Interleukin 6 (IL6) test at home?

Log on to and submit your details. Our highly trained, professional, and vaccinated eMedics will be at your doorstep within 60 minutes or at the time booked by you.

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