A blood test is the most difficult examination, which is almost impossible to read on your own. If the qualification of the attending physician is beyond doubt, he can be trusted with decoding, but sometimes it is worthwhile to independently examine the data obtained. In particular, indicators of ESR and monocytes deserve attention. What does their promotion in a child mean? What values are considered normal, and what are the reasons for the deviation?
What does the level of monocytes and ESR say?
Monocytes are a variety of leukocytes, differing in their size - they are the largest, and also do not have granules and have a displaced nucleus. The synthesis of monocytes is carried out by the bone marrow, while in the blood they are released during the developmental stage, as a result of which their phagocytosis is maximal. After entering the tissues, they are transformed into macrophages and are activated as fighters against harmful microorganisms. At the same time, they share this role with neutrophils, but in comparison with the latter, they have a long lifespan and "endurance". Thus, monocytes are leukocytes necessary for the destruction of pathogenic elements, which must be especially actively produced when an organism is captured by an infection, including blood diseases.
- A natural increase in monocytes in a child and an adult is observed during a viral epidemic, as well as in tuberculosis. Their high level can be maintained throughout the recovery, if a serious illness was transferred.
- Lowering of monocytes below normal, up to zero them, is characteristic of anemia, as well as bone marrow damage and inflammatory processes in the background of neglected infectious disease.
Blood tests also contain the abbreviation "ESR" - it refers to the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and it is often closely related to the level of monocytes, since it also relates to inflammatory processes inside the body. To determine this parameter, a substance is added to the blood tube that prevents it from clotting, after which its layers are observed. High speeds are often characterized by active inflammation, which is characterized by an increase in the number of fibrinogen and globulin.
At the same time, it is possible to find out that this process is started 24 hours after it began, but the maximum increase in ESR does not even fall at the peak of the disease, but during the recovery period, as is the case with monocytes. For this reason, after seeing increased levels of monocytes and ESR after an illness, you should not panic and think that the virus is not defeated - for some time these nuances in the analyzes can persist in their positions.
- It is important to know that abnormalities in ESR are possible during pregnancy, due to modifications of the protein composition of the blood, as well as with increased blood viscosity. At the same time during the day, the sedimentation rate is higher than at night, which is associated with the biological rhythm of man.
Standard indicators of monocytes in a child
The level of monocytes in the blood of any person varies not only depending on the age and state of his immune system, but also according to the time of day. However, the values taken as the norm are classified only by age.
- In newborns, the percentage of monocytes should be between 3 and 12, while within 14-28 days it can rise to 15%, since the body is completely unprepared for the environment and perceives everything as a threat.
- In a six month old child for the next 6 months. (exactly up to a year) 4-10% are considered as a “corridor”.
- In children over one year old and up to the age of 16, the norm of monocytes is 3–9%, after which it should be kept at 8% or lower.
Separately, it should be said that in the analyzes indicate not only the percentage of monocytes, but also their absolute number, marked in the data as "abs.". Thus, visually, the result of the survey may differ from the above. Then the normative values are as follows:
- less than 0.08 * 109 / l for children over 12 years old and adults;
- in the range from 0.05 to 1.1 * 109 / l for children under 12 years old.
The relatively high values in a young child are caused by the imperfection of the immune system, as a result of which there is a constant readiness to eliminate the infection that has suddenly entered the body. After 16 years of age, the protective functions must be finally formed, and therefore, in the future, the “monocytes” in the analyzes can only show 1-2%, and you don’t need to worry about it.
The reasons for the increase of monocytes in the blood of a child
As mentioned earlier, the natural increase in the proportion of monocytes in the blood indicates the beginning of the inflammatory process generated by the infection. If you know for sure that the baby has grabbed the flu virus, it makes no sense to be surprised at the results of the blood test - it will not change until the moment of recovery. However, in the case when the child seems healthy, and, judging by the analysis, monocytes and ESR are elevated in the child’s blood, it is worth considering - this may indicate a number of complex and serious diseases.
- Tuberculosis, malaria, lupus, syphilis - these inflammatory and infectious processes are the most dangerous, and it is early to diagnose them by increasing monocytes and ESR.
- Gastrointestinal lesions (especially ulcers), colitis, enteritis are also often characterized by an increase in the proportion of monocytes, but to a lesser extent.
- Toxoplasmosis, brucellosis, leukemia, mononucleosis and other disorders of the chemical composition of the blood are invariably associated with monocytosis. This should include absolutely any tumor.
In addition, it is impossible not to say that monocytosis can be absolute, when the proportion of this type of white blood cells increases to the maximum possible limit. That it is characteristic of most serious diseases. The threshold value is called 7 billion cells for each liter of blood.
But there is the concept of relative monocytosis, which is diagnosed with a decrease in the number of other blood cells - the proportion of directly monocytes can be within the normal range: only the percentage ratio changes. Often this is a situational phenomenon characteristic of trauma, genetic failure, surgery, ARVI, etc. It is noteworthy that such reasons may lead to the opposite effect - a significant decrease in the level of monocytes.
- Separately, it is worth noting that in infants, monocytes increase during teething, as well as their loss, which is often accompanied by a rise in temperature, irritability, hysterics of the child.
- The zeroing of the level of monocytes is a sure sign of leukemia, in which the synthesis of leukocytes is stopped, or sepsis, leading to their destruction. However, the same result is often fixed when using glucocorticoids in long-term therapy.
As a residual effect, monocytes may increase on the background of recovery from cancer, as well as purulent infections. But in any of the situations, with the exception of relative monocytosis, a specialist should make a diagnosis, since it is impossible to solve the blood problem on his own without his help.
How to pass the analysis to determine the level of monocytes?
It is impossible not to touch upon the issue of preparation, since any violations of the procedure can lead to the fact that the results obtained will be completely unreliable and will sow panic in vain in the minds of parents.
- If the child is undergoing treatment, provide the examining physician with complete data on the drugs the baby is taking. A lot of medicines can significantly change the number of monocytes, while not provoking the above problems.
- Try to make the day before the tests pass calmly: a situational increase in the blood of monocytes can be affected even by excessive exercise and activity, after which at least 48 hours should pass for maximum accurate testing.
- Follow the diet of the child - exclude foods high in fat and fried foods, in the morning, as for all tests, do not give him anything other than water (up to 100 ml).
Artificially reducing the level of monocytes does not give any results - it is impossible to block the synthesis of blood cells, therefore the only way to solve the problem is therapy aimed at a disease that has become a provocateur for increasing the number of monocytes. With relative monocytosis, no action can be taken; however, the absolute requires immediate medical attention.