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Interleukin 6 (IL6) Test

Also known as  Interleukin 6 (IL6)
Interleukin 6 (IL6) is a protein that is a proinflammatory cytokine and an anti-inflammatory myokine that helps the body regulate the immune system's responses.
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Available everyday from 6:30 AM to 10 PM
Sample(s) required
Preparation required
No Fasting Required
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60 mins collection

6 AM - 10 PM

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6 hours

What is the Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test? 

Interleukin is a protein that works as an activation marker of the immune system response. These inflammatory responses of the human body may be monitored through an interleukin 6 test. This is mainly because the interleukin (Il-6) test helps to analyse the amount of interleukin in the blood.

This test also helps to evaluate the severity of SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome), COVID-19, and sepsis and to predict the outcome of these patients.

What are the other names for the Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test? 

The other names are: IL 6.

What are the test parameters included in the Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test?

There is only one parameter.


What does an Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test measure?

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a protein that is produced by various cells in the body. This helps to regulate the immune responses, which makes the IL-6 test potentially very useful as a marker of immune system activation. IL-6 may be elevated by inflammation, infection, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and some of the cancers related to it. This test analyses the levels of IL-6 in the blood.

Usually, interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of a large group of molecules called cytokines. These cytokines play multiple roles within the body and act especially within the immune system to help direct the body’s immune response. They are part of the inflammatory cascade that involves and coordinates the sequential activation of the immune response pathways.

IL-6 acts on a variety of cells and tissues. It promotes the differentiation of B-cells. These B lymphocytes are part of the immune system and promote the cells' growth and inhibit the growth of others. This stimulates the production of an acute phase of proteins. IL-6 also plays a role in body temperature regulation, bone maintenance, and brain function. This is primarily pro-inflammatory but can have anti-inflammatory effects.

What’s the normal range of an Interleukin 6 (IL 6) test? 

less than 5 pg/ml.

Who should get an Interleukin 6 (IL 6) test? 

IL-6 test is not frequently recommended. Usually, a C-reactive protein (CRP) test is the most commonly recommended test to evaluate inflammation, but IL-6 can be ordered in conjunction with or following a CRP test when a person has any signs and symptoms of an inflammatory condition or infection and a healthcare practitioner wants to find additional information. 


Are there any preparations needed for the Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test?

No special preparation is required. Fasting is not required for this test. Please ask the doctor if there are any precautions to be taken.

What is the cost of an Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test?

What is the type of sample required? 

This test requires a blood sample.

Who processes a Blood Culture Test?

A healthcare provider, who is also called a phlebotomist, usually performs blood draws, including those for blood culture tests, but any healthcare provider trained in drawing blood can perform this task. These 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 Blood Culture Test?

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

  • You can feel the experience the following during the blood test or a blood draw

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

  • Once the phlebotomist has located a vein, they will disinfect the area with an alcohol swab and iodine solution.

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

  • After they pricked the needle, the required amount of blood will be drawn in a test tube.

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

  • They will apply 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 Blood Culture Test?

Once the phlebotomist has collected the blood sample, it will be sent to the laboratory for processing or testing. When the reports are ready, your healthcare provider will share the results with you.

What are the risks of a Blood Culture Test?

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

When can I expect my Blood Culture Test results?

At Orange Health, blood culture test reports are available within 48 to 168 hours.

What do the results of a Blood Culture Test mean?

If the blood culture is positive, it can mean that there is a bacterial or fungal infection in the bloodstream that needs to be treated immediately. These infections can be life-threatening, especially in patients whose immune systems are not working properly. The doctor may start the treatment with a broad spectrum of antibiotics, often given intravenously while waiting for the test results, and will adjust the treatment depending upon the antibiotic susceptibility results.

A positive result could also be a false positive caused by skin contamination. If two or more blood culture sets are positive for the same bacteria, it is more likely that the bacteria found in the culture are causing the infection. If one set is positive and the other set is negative, this could be either an infection or contamination. The doctor will need to evaluate the clinical significance of the patient and the type of bacteria found.


If the two sets of blood culture sets are negative, the probability of the infection being caused by the bacteria or yeast is low. However, if the symptoms persist, for example, a fever that does not go away, additional tests may be required. Reasons that the symptoms can not resolve even though blood culture results are negative include:

  • Some of the microorganisms are difficult to grow in culture. Additional blood cultures using special nutrient media can be done to try to grow and identify the pathogens. 

  • The viruses cannot be detected using blood culture bottles designed to grow bacteria. If the doctor suspects that a viral infection could be the cause of the person’s symptoms, then other laboratory tests would need to be performed as well. The tests would depend on the clinical signs and the type of the virus the doctor suspects is causing the infection.


What are normal Blood Culture Test results?

Most of the bacteria may be seen in culture in 2 to 3 days. But some types of bacteria can take 10 days or longer to show up. Fungus can take up to 30 days to show up in the culture.

Normal: No bacteria or fungus was found. Normal culture results are called negative.

Abnormal: Bacteria or fungus growing in the culture. Abnormal culture results are called positive.


If bacteria are found in the culture, another test is often done to find the best antibiotic susceptibility test that will guide in killing of the bacteria. This is called sensitivity or susceptibility testing. Sensitivity testing is very important so the blood infection is treated correctly. It also helps prevent bacteria from becoming resistant to antibiotics.


What other tests might I have along with this test?

Complete Haemogram, CRP, and urine culture.

How do I book an IL 6 test at home in Bangalore?

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.

FAQs on Interleukin 6 (IL 6) Test

What does interleukin 6 do in the body?

IL-6 (interleukin-6) is promptly and transiently produced in response to infections and tissue injuries. It contributes to host defense through the stimulation of acute phase responses, and haematopoiesis (hematopoiesis – the formation of blood cellular components – occurs during embryonic development and throughout adulthood to produce and replenish the blood system), and immune reactions in the body.


What does a high IL 6 mean?

Patients who meet systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria and have an increase in IL-6 (interleukin 6) values (>300 pg/mL) have been shown to be at increased risk for complications such as pneumonia, multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS), and even death.


What does interleukin mean?

Interleukin (IL6) is a group of cytokines that were first seen to be expressed by white blood cells (WBCs). The term interleukin (IL-6) derives from “as a means of communication” and derives from the fact that many of these proteins are produced by leukocytes (lymphocytes, monocytes, and macrophage cells).


How does IL 6 promote inflammation?

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) in combination with its soluble receptor SIL-6Ra, dictates the transition from acute to chronic inflammation by changing the nature of the leukocyte infiltration from neutrophils and can also contribute to monocyte activation and extravasation through granule product release and extracellular trap formation.  polymorphonuclear neutrophils to monocytes.   


What does IL 6 test indicate?

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a protein that is released by the immune cells in the body when it is fighting bacteria, viruses, or any other microorganism. High values of IL-6 in the blood can indicate inflammation, infection, cardiovascular diseases, or autoimmune disorders.

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