Causes of elevated lymphocytes in a child


Blood tests showed that the child has elevated white blood cells. Parents are in a panic because they think that their baby’s health is in danger. You should not panic, because lymphocytes rise for various reasons, in which you need to deal with a specialist.

Age reasons

blood test shows high levels of lymphocytes

Lymphocytes are called blood cells that belong to leukocytes. They are needed in order to fight viruses, parasites, that is, any alien elements that fall into the human body. This is possible thanks to the recognition of antigens, the formation of a definite response from the immune system, as well as the memorization of these dangerous elements.

If the blood test shows a high level of lymphocytes, it is a lymphocytosis. If in an adult the reasons for such an increase are exactly rooted in health problems, then the child is more complicated, since in children the number of lymphocytes is associated with age-related changes.

In the blood of a baby who has just been born, the content of lymphocytes is the same as the norm in an adult. But literally in 4 or 5 days the percentage of these cells reaches the level of neutrophils. It makes from 30 to 50%. But that is not all. The level of lymphocytes continues to grow. When a child reaches one year old, the rate can reach 65%, while the number of neutrophils decreases.

And only after the age of four, the level of lymphocytes begins to fall. By age 10, it ranges from 30 to 45%, closer to adulthood, the rate becomes as in an adult. This means that if elevated lymphocytes are detected in a child at 2 years old, there is no reason for panic. There is a high probability that there is a connection with physiological reasons that need to be remembered between the ages of 4 days and 4 years.

This situation is quite normal and even beneficial for the child. The fact is that in this age gap the immunity of children matures, which does not require intervention with the help of drugs.

How to determine whether lymphocytosis at this age is a sign of disease? Pathological lymphocytosis is fixed when the number of these cells exceeds the norm of an adult as follows:

  • at 12 months the level is above 65%;
  • 5 years above 55%;
  • 10 years above 45% and so on.

Pathological lymphocytosis

Pathological lymphocytosis develops for various reasons. In this case, it is important to divide lymphocytosis into the following types:

  • absolute;
  • relative;
  • reactive;
  • malignant.

The cause of absolute lymphocytosis is usually infection. These include rubella, chicken pox, mumps, tuberculosis, measles, etc. Relative lymphocytosis develops against the background of long-term illnesses that develop due to weak immunity. In this case, the following examples of pathologies can be given - brucellosis, typhoid fever, purulent and inflammatory diseases and other illnesses. All of them make immunity very weak.

Pathological lymphocytosis develops for various reasons.

Reactive lymphocytosis - the reaction of the immune system to a poor state of the body or disease. Malignant lymphocytosis is a sign of problems in the field of oncology, acute or chronic leukemic phases. In this case, it is very difficult to normalize the leukocyte rate.

There are other causes of elevated lymphocytes in a child:

  • the innate sensitivity of a child’s body to certain diseases, such as Crohn’s vasculitis and ulcerative colitis, to drugs such as antibiotics, tetracyclines, etc .;
  • poisoning with poison, heavy metals;
  • prolonged fasting;
  • severe vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia.

Smith disease

So called infectious lymphocytosis. We have to admit that it is studied poorly enough. There is an assumption that it is associated with a viral infection, as evidenced by the cases of group childhood diseases. Mandatory signs - transient leukocytosis, as well as high levels of lymphocytes in the bone marrow and blood.

It is assumed that the cause of the disease is the penetration of the lymphotropic virus into the body, and the pathway for it is the digestive tract or nasopharyngeal mucosa. The peak of the disease occurs in autumn and spring. But after the child recovers, the disease can appear again, but only after at least 2 years.

The illness has no bright signs. The child may experience lethargy, weakness, fever, a small lesion of the respiratory tract. If the form is respiratory, a fever is observed for 3 days.

Lymphocyte rates

Some parents who receive the results of blood tests performed in a hurry to look at all the values ​​and independently determine the presence of pathology in the child’s body. Of course, only a doctor can do this correctly, yet it is not at all bad to ask about the results in advance. And for this you need to know the rules. Below is the absolute value of lymphocytes and the percentage in the leukocyte formula, depending on age.

  • 1 year from birth - 4.0-10.5 x109 / l or 61%;
  • from 4 to 5 years - 2.0-8.0 h109 / l or 50%;
  • from 6 to 9 years - 1.5-7.0 h109 / l, or 42%;
  • from 10 to 20 years - 1.5-6.5 h109 / l or 38%.

If, in agreement with the analyzes, it became clear that the indicators differ from the above norms, it is necessary to consult a doctor in order to identify the exact cause and receive effective treatment.

How to identify lymphocytosis in children

When the level of lymphocytes rises, a decrease in the number of neutrophils is often observed. If so, it means that there is inflammation in the body or some drug has caused a side effect. By the way, when lymphocytes are lowered, and segmented cells are elevated, we can talk about a past illness. As soon as the patient recovers, everything is normalized.

With an increase in leukocytes and ESR should speak about viral infections. This situation requires urgent and effective treatment. Usually, doctors prescribe medications that contain interferon. If the level of lymphocytes rises along with the number of monocytes, a viral infection of a chronic nature is diagnosed. No need to worry if such a situation exists after suffering a viral disease.

How to identify lymphocytosis in children?

Usually, parents first notice certain symptoms in their offspring, then go to the hospital. The fact that a child has elevated lymphocytes, a blood test helps to identify immediately after his study. But how can you identify problems with the level of lymphocytes as a baby? It is important to understand that in certain cases with a high level of lymphocytes there are no signs of disease. Then the presence of lymphocytosis is detected by chance during the diagnosis of the child.

Often lymphocytosis is detected when parents come to the doctor with an infectious disease of the baby. If the lymph nodes, liver and spleen are enlarged, reactive lymphocytosis will be discussed. Typically, symptoms are dependent on the reasons for the increase in cell level. In addition, the manifestation of symptoms affects the state of the immune system.

The child clearly shows signs of infectious lymphocytosis - lethargy, temperature above normal, weakness, damage to the respiratory tract. If lymphocytosis occurs in the skin form, a rash is observed, which is similar to a rash on scarlet fever. It passes without intervention through three days. If tracheobronchitis develops, severe pneumonia appears.

Lymphocytosis - is it forever?

Lymphocytosis in crumbs is a treatable condition. If elevated lymphocytes have been identified in a child under one year old, in most cases you just need to wait, all the more so since it doesn’t affect him. If an increase in the level of these blood elements is associated with some diseases, their treatment is required at any age. That is, the treatment of lymphocytosis is directly related to the elimination of the cause of this condition. If the therapy is not done on time, complications can occur.

According to practice, the relative lymphocytosis caused by acute respiratory, viral infections, passes itself after 2 weeks. Therefore, in the event that the cause of the change in blood flow is precisely established, no medication is required.

Elevated lymphocytes in a child is not a reason for panic. Of course, there are serious reasons for this condition, however, they need to be identified and proceed to the treatment prescribed by the doctor. After him, the level of lymphocytes will return to normal, which will positively affect the condition of the baby.