Sometimes a complete blood count shows that monocytes are elevated. Many patients ask a fair question, which means an increase in this indicator and how dangerous it is.
Monocytes: functions and rate indicator
The relative content of monocytes is one of the indicators in the general analysis of blood. This figure is expressed as a percentage. The monocyte rate is 3-11 percent (according to other sources - up to 9-10 percent). Monocytes perform a protective function in the body.
It is these cells that must immediately respond to the appearance of a foreign agent. Monocytes make up 1-8 percent of all leukocytes in the blood. The formation and maturation of these cells occurs in the red bone marrow. In the peripheral bloodstream, monocytes are located from 36 to 104 hours, then they are transferred to the tissue, where they become histiocytes.
However, it is during the period of being in the bloodstream that they are most active. Unlike other leukocytes, monocytes are capable of capturing in large quantities and destroying large foreign elements in an acidic environment. For the ability to eliminate dead cells in diseases, monocytes are often referred to as "janitors". They are found in the bone marrow, spleen, liver and lymph nodes.
Once in the tissue, monocytes begin to move like amoebas. Their most important function is the fight against tumors. These cells have a cytotoxic effect on neoplasms and malaria pathogens. In addition, monocytes produce interferon.
By participating in the pathological process, they remove bacteria from the body, as well as dead cells. If the content of monocytes in the blood decreases, monopenia occurs. Typically, this condition is observed with anemia, stress, after childbirth, with acute infections and exhaustion of the body. Elevated levels of monocytes in the blood lead to monocytosis.
Increased monocytes in the blood: causes
- Increased monocytes in the blood can be caused by a number of diseases. For example, this occurs as a result of the occurrence of fungal, viral, rickettsial and protozoal infections, as well as infectious endocarditis.
- Diseases such as pulmonary tuberculosis, syphilis, extrapulmonary toberculosis, ulcerative colitis, enteritis and sarcoidosis can also cause an increase in the level of monocytes. The increase in the number of these cells can be caused by various forms of leukemia and malignant lesions of the lymphatic system (lymphoma, lymphogranulomatosis). But basically this process indicates the presence of infectious diseases.
- If the analysis showed high content of monocytes in the blood, it means you have monocytosis. It can be both absolute and relative. Relative monocytosis implies an increase in monocytes by more than 8 percent. Moreover, their amount in the blood does not exceed the norm. The disease may be accompanied by a decrease in the number of other leukocytes in the blood. This condition appears in lymphocytopenia and neutropenia.
- Absolute mococytosis implies an increase in the absolute number of monocyte cells. In the case of this form of the disease, it is necessary to establish the cause of the increase in the number of protective cells. The rate of monocytes in children varies depending on the age of the child.
Monocytosis in children: causes
An increased indicator of monocytes in the blood test in children is not a rare case. As mentioned above, monocytes are a type of white blood cells. These cells perform a protective function in the body. Therefore, in most cases, an increase in monocytes indicates that the child develops an infectious disease, that is, the analysis shows the response of the body to any inflammation that has occurred.
In addition, the increase of monocytes can occur during the period of recovery after suffering a serious illness. After various surgeries, an increase in the level of monocytes in the blood can also be observed. If the child has not been ill and infections are not observed, then this indicator may indicate any blood disease.
Most often, monocytosis in children occurs with mononucleosis, malaria, toxoplasmosis, or syphilis. There are also a number of systemic diseases that occur with monocytosis. For example, rheumatism or systemic lupus erythematosus. Precisely because the increase in monocytes is a signal of the development of a particular disease, further research is needed to determine the diagnosis.
Often, along with the number of monocytes, the number of other blood cells increases, which are responsible for the appearance of inflammatory processes. Separately, monocytes rise extremely rarely. Blood to determine the number of protective cells surrenders early in the morning on an empty stomach. Take blood for analysis from a finger.
An increase in the level of monocytes in the blood is an alarming symptom. It may indicate the presence in the body of the inflammatory process, other serious diseases. If the complete blood count shows an abnormal level of protective cells, an urgent consultation with a doctor and additional tests and examinations are necessary to identify the cause of the changes.