Sample Storage And Retention
- Pre analysis storage: do not store, send to laboratory within 4 hours.
- Sample retention by lab: EDTA samples are retained for a minimum of 48 hours at 2-10°C
- Transport of samples may affect sample viability, i.e. FBC results will degenerate if exposed to high temperatures, such as prolonged transportation in a hot car in summer.
This test can be added on to a previous request as long as there is sufficient sample remaining and the sample is less than 24 hours old.
Causes Of A Low White Blood Cell Count
Common causes of a low white blood cell count are:
- Medications and cancer treatments, such as some antibiotics, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy
- Bone marrow cancers and bone marrow disorders, including aplastic anemia and multiple myeloma
- Infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus and severe infections
White blood cells are made in the bone marrow and circulate throughout the body. Diseases, toxins, medications, or medical treatments that harm the bone marrow can prevent enough white blood cells from being produced. Some medical conditions can also cause the destruction of white blood cells.
Usually, having low white blood cells is a sign of chronic disease. But sometimes medications or infections can temporarily cause this problem due to the destruction of white blood cells. This should resolve once the infection clears up or the medication is discontinued.
Benign ethnic neutropenia is a cause of inherited chronic neutropenia . It is seen mostly in people of African, Middle Eastern, and West Indian descent worldwide. It does not increase a person’s risk of infection.
Red Blood Cells Hemoglobin And Hematocrit
Red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and on their return carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs where it is exhaled. These functions are mediated by the cells’ hemoglobin. The analyzer counts red blood cells, reporting the result in units of 106 cells per microlitre of blood or 1012 cells per litre , and measures their average size, which is called the mean cell volume and expressed in femtolitres or cubic micrometres. By multiplying the mean cell volume by the red blood cell count, the hematocrit or packed cell volume , a measurement of the percentage of blood that is made up of red blood cells, can be derived and when the hematocrit is performed directly, the mean cell volume may be calculated from the hematocrit and red blood cell count. Hemoglobin, measured after the red blood cells are lysed, is usually reported in units of grams per litre or grams per decilitre . Assuming that the red blood cells are normal, there is a constant relationship between hemoglobin and hematocrit: the hematocrit percentage is approximately three times greater than the hemoglobin value in g/dL, plus or minus three. This relationship, called the rule of three, can be used to confirm that CBC results are correct.
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Research Design And Methods
According to the protocol approved by the local ethics committee, all patients underwent a full diagnostic evaluation completed by psychological-psychiatric assessment . Patients who were suitable for surgery at the end of the diagnostic workup, but refused LAGB for personal reasons, underwent conventional treatment. Patients were studied under basal conditions and after 13 years of follow-up. shows the clinical and laboratory variables of patients. Laboratory methods used in this study have already been published . For each variable, differences between basal conditions and follow-up were assessed using the Students t test for paired data. Pairwise regression analysis between change in WBC count and change in clinical and metabolic variables was calculated. Stepwise regression analysis was further carried out to estimate the independent contribution of selected variables on change in WBC count. P values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
White Blood Cell Count
White blood cell count, also known as Leukocyte count or WBC count, or White count.There are five main types of white blood cell counts: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils.A white blood cell count is the number of white blood cells per volume of blood reported in thousands in a microliter or millions in a liter of blood.
Do you have a high white blood cell count? There are a variety of reasons for a high white blood cell count. A white blood cell count is high when leukocytes are helping your body to fight an infection in your bodythere are more disease fighting cells in your body. A high white blood cell count is also called leukocytosis. But It is important to be aware that a high white blood cell count does not identify a specific problem…
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Are There Tests To Diagnose The Cause Of Low White Blood Cells
Diagnostic tests can identify the white blood cell count, as well as the cause of low white blood cells. A complete blood count is a blood test that measures the number of white blood cells, as well as the number and proportion of each type of white blood cell.
The cause of a low white blood cell count can be identified with diagnostic tests as well. The specific testing selected is directed by the signs, symptoms, and risk factors. For example, an HIV test can identify HIV as the cause, while a bone marrow biopsy can often identify blood cancer.
How Can Doctors Tell If My White Blood Cell Count Is Low
Doctors can tell you have a low white blood cell count by doing a routine complete blood count . If you’re getting treatments or have a disease that can lower your white blood cell count, doctors check your CBC often.
Sometimes, the cause is obvious, such as if youre getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
If the cause isn’t clear, doctors may do:
Blood, urine, and imaging tests looking for infection
Bone marrow biopsy
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How To Treat Low White Blood Cell Symptoms
The symptoms that may develop as a result of having low white blood cells often require treatment in addition to the treatment thats needed for managing the underlying issues.
Treatments can include:
- Covering wounds to prevent an infection
- Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories , such as Advil and Aleve for treatment of pain or fevers
- Fluid intake to prevent dehydration from vomiting or diarrhea
- Dietary supplements to prevent or treat malnutrition
- Antibiotics or antivirals to treat infections
Additionally, sometimes a low white blood cell count can be treated, depending on the cause. Examples of treatments may include antiretroviral therapy for treating HIV or a bone marrow transplant for cancer.
Neulasta , a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor , is a medication that can be used in certain circumstances to prevent low white blood cells occurring as a side effect of chemotherapy.
These treatments require ongoing and close medical care.
What Are White Blood Cells
Your total white blood cell count is the sum of five different types of white blood cells, all with different roles in battling foreign invaders in the body: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes.
Neutrophils make up the largest share of your white blood cell count, contributing 60-70% of the total. It’s for this reason that a low white blood cell count is most likely due to a low neutrophil count, also called neutropenia. Neutrophils are the immune systems first responderswithin minutes of an injury, trauma, or inflammation to tissue in the body, neutrophils are drawn to the scene. They essentially control traffic to and from an infection site by recruiting additional white blood cells specialized to the type of invader. Neutrophils function by engulfing the pathogen and breaking it down. And even though they are microscopic, youve seen probably seen neutrophils, as they are the basis of pus! The lifespan of a neutrophil is very short, ranging from 5 hours to a few days.
Because your white blood cells play a vital role in immune function, low levels can leave you more susceptible to infection, increase the duration of illness, and increase the severity of it. Its important to note that white blood cell levels can fluctuate daily and even hourly, so its important not to jump to conclusions about your levels from a single blood test.
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When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider
Leukopenia increases your risk of developing infections, so you should contact your healthcare provider if you have leukopenia and think you may have an infection.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Leukopenia happens when your white blood cell levels are lower than normal. There are many reasons why your white blood cell level may drop. For example, you may be receiving life-saving cancer treatment that lowers your white blood cell levels. You may have an autoimmune disorder like lupus. If you have leukopenia, youre at risk of infections. If you know you have leukopenia, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to fend off infections.
What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Mean
White blood cells are an important and necessary part of your immune system. Produced in your bone marrow, they defend your body against infections and disease. But, when there are too many white blood cells, it usually means you have infection or inflammation in your body. Less commonly, a high white blood cell count could indicate certain blood cancers or bone marrow disorders.
What is considered a high white blood cell count?
Typically, if there are more than 11,000 white blood cells in a microliter of your blood, its considered leukocytosis.
High white blood cell count during pregnancy
A high blood cell count during pregnancy is normal. Your body is simply experiencing the stress of carrying a baby. Your healthcare provider will run routine blood tests throughout your pregnancy to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on.
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Conditions That Can Cause A Low White Blood Cell Count
A low WBC count can be due to a variety of different conditions that either destroy WBCs or inhibit their production in the bone marrow. These include:
- Infection: Widespread infection can cause a low WBC count, including viral infections and conditions such as HIV. Malariacan also cause a drop in WBC count.
- Damage to bone marrow: This damage may happen due to an infection, a condition, or a medical treatment, such as chemotherapy.
What Do My Test Results Mean
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
An RBC count is measured in millions per cubic millimeter . Normal values may vary slightly among different laboratories. One example of normal values is:
3.6 to 5.0 million/mm3 for women
4.2 to 5.4 million/mm3 for men
Your healthcare provider can supply normal reference values.
An RBC that’s lower than normal can be a sign of many health problems, including:
Vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency
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Low White Blood Cell Count Causes
Low white blood cell count is often caused by problems with the bone marrow where they are made. The bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside of bones which is responsible for creating most of the bodys blood cells.Certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, and treatments such as chemotherapy can damage the bone marrows ability to create white blood cells. Chemicals such as benzene and certain pesticides can also damage the bone marrow.Another common cause for a low white blood cell count is infection. An infection can affect the bone marrow and make it difficult for the body to produce white blood cells. Also, when the body is fighting a particularly severe infection, the rate of white cell production, even when stepped up in response, may not keep up with the rate at which white blood cells are being used up in combating the disease.Other causes of leukopenia include autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, which cause the body to attack its own white blood cells. Certain medications can also destroy white blood cells. Vitamin deficiency, excessive alcohol consumption and generally poor diet can also lower a white blood cell count.
How Is Leukocytosis Treated
Treatment for leukocytosis varies depending on what caused the condition in the first place. For example, if you have a high white blood cell count due to a bacterial infection, then your healthcare provider will prescribe antibiotics. If leukocytosis is associated with an allergic reaction, then youll probably need antihistamines. Other common high white blood cell count treatments include:
- Medications to reduce stress or anxiety.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- IV fluids to improve blood flow.
- Leukapheresis, a procedure to quickly reduce the number of white blood cells in your blood.
- Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or stem cell transplants.
In some cases, your white blood cell count may return to normal without intervention.
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The Best Way To Understand Your White Blood Cell Count
Utilizing a history of blood data is the best way to understand a low white blood cell count. A single low WBC measure is not enough information for diagnosis. Speak with your physician about the need for follow-up testing. For most people, a low white blood cell level does not indicate illness or disease, but rather that your immune system is functioning properly. To maintain a properly functioning immune system, take action on improving lifestyle factors related to your white blood cell count. To learn what actions you can take to impact your white blood cell count, upload your results and develop your action plan with InsideTracker.
Can I Prevent Leukocytosis
Remember that leukocytosis is a normal immune response, so it doesnt always need to be prevented. For example, your white blood cells increase when your body needs to fight off infection or inflammation. But, there are things you can do to keep your white blood cell count in a healthy range:
- Wash your hands frequently to reduce the risk of infection.
- Avoid potential allergens.
- Visit your dentist every six months.
- Take all medications as directed by your healthcare provider.
- Find ways to reduce your stress levels, like mindfulness or meditation.
- Seek treatment for anxiety or depression as needed.
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What Causes Low Blood Counts
The most common reason cancer patients experience low blood counts is as a side effect of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by destroying cells that grow rapidly, a characteristic of cancer cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also affects normal cells that grow rapidly, such as cells in the bone marrow that produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Low White Blood Cell Count
White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, account for less than 1% of your blood cells, but are very important for health and protection against disease. These are the cells that defend the body against viruses and bacteria. Having a low or elevated white blood cell count can indicate a range of disorders relating to the blood and bone marrow.
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How Is Leukocytosis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will perform an exam and ask about your symptoms and medical history. Theyll also order a complete blood count . This common blood test checks for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in your blood. A CBC can tell your healthcare provider if you have certain conditions or infections. In some cases, you might need a bone marrow test to confirm your diagnosis.
Normal Wbc Range In Children
A white blood cell count reflects the number of these immune system cells circulating in your child’s bloodstream.A WBC count is usually performed as part of a complete blood count , which includes other tests such as a red blood cell count, platelet count, and hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, among others. The normal range for a total WBC count is somewhat higher in children than adults and varies according to a child’s age.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Neutropenia
Since white blood cells are destroyed as a side effect of chemotherapy, there is nothing specifically that you can do to prevent neutropenia from occurring. Nonetheless, there are several things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting an infection when your white blood cells are low:
Perform excellent daily personal hygiene.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
- Use alcohol-free, antiseptic mouthwashes daily.
- Do not cut or pick at cuticles. Use a cuticle cream instead. Even if you have a manicure, only cuticle cream should be used.
- Use a deodorant rather than an antiperspirant. Antiperspirants block sweat glands and, therefore, may promote infection.
- When menstruating, use sanitary napkins rather than tampons, which may promote infection in a neutropenic patient.
Avoid situations that will increase your chance of getting an infection.
- Stay away from people who are ill.
- Avoid contact with anyone who has recently been vaccinated, including infants and children.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible. When going to places where there are often a lot of people , try going at off-peak times, when they are not as crowded.
Use extra precautions to decrease the chance of injury and infection.
If you cut or scrape the skin, clean the area immediately with soap and water and bandage as necessary.