Increased white blood cell count


As a rule, each person who went to the hospital for one reason or another was given a blood test. This test allows you to assess the level of hemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, as well as the color index of blood. What does it mean if the analysis showed a high white blood cell count?

Increased white blood cell count: causes

Increased white blood cell count: causes

White blood cells - white blood cells that form the composition of blood. Produces their bone marrow. According to the structural features of the leukocytes are divided into two groups:

  • Granulocytes are neutrophilic, eosinophilic, and also basophilic leukocytes (granular). They differ in the ability to perceive dyes.
  • Agranulocytes - lymphocytes and monocytes (i.e. non-granular leukocytes).

Leukocytes inherent functions of protecting the body from germs and foreign bodies entering the blood and tissues. Their important properties include:

  • the ability to penetrate through the walls of blood vessels in the tissue and return back;
  • the ability to capture and absorption of solid particles;
  • participation in immune processes;
  • activation of the healing process, as well as regeneration.

If the blood of an adult contains more than 4 - 9x109/ l of white blood cells, he is diagnosed with leukocytosis. In a normal state, the distribution of leukocytes is uneven. Therefore, an increase in their level may be associated with the redistribution of cells from areas where the concentration of leukocytes is increased, to areas with a lower content, as well as with a direct effect on the bone marrow.

Leukocytosis is physiological and pathological. The physiological type is considered normal and is usually caused by such reasons:

  • food intake;
  • pregnancy;
  • childbirth;
  • muscle tension;
  • rapid change of body position on the horizontal;
  • cooling;
  • overexcitement.

Pathological disease will be considered in the event of an increase in the concentration of white blood cells as the body's response to infections, toxic, radiation and other irritations. Necrotic tissue breakdown as a result of heart attack, tumor, injury, large blood loss, brain injury, and leukemia lead to leukocytosis.

Most cases of pathological leukocytosis are associated with an increase in neutrophils. Allergic states, helminth infections, drug intolerance, scarlet fever, syphilis, tuberculosis, rheumatism are more common in eosinophilic leukocytosis.

Lymphocytosis is characteristic of infections and intoxication of the body. Monocytes are elevated in malaria, rubella, parotitis and other infectious diseases. Basophilic leukocytosis develops as a result of vaccinations, as well as in blood diseases.

Rates of pregnancy

Leukocytes during pregnancy

Pregnancy leads to many functional and structural changes in the body. They arise in connection with the needs of a developing child, increased levels of hormones, especially progesterone and estrogen. It is confirmed that the number of leukocytes, especially neutrophils, in peripheral blood increases significantly during pregnancy. The reason for the increase in white blood cells is most likely the hormonal response of the body.

If there are no pathological conditions or symptoms, the following leukocyte counts in the blood are considered normal during pregnancy:

  • first trimester: 5.7 - 13.6 x 109/ l;
  • second trimester: 5.6 - 14.8 x 109 / l;
  • third trimester: 5.6 - 16.9 x 109/ l.

Leukocytosis during pregnancy is physiological, is temporary and disappears after the birth of a child.

What should be the level of leukocytes in the blood of a child?

In children, the content of blood leukocytes is higher than in adults. This is especially true for infancy. This factor must be considered when deciphering a child’s blood test. Consider the indicators of white blood cells in children of different ages:

  • 1 day: 10 - 30 x 109 / l;
  • 5 nights: 9 - 15 x 109/ l;
  • 10 nights: 8.5 - 14 x 109/ l;
  • 1 month: 8 - 12 x 109/ l;
  • 1 year: 7 - 11 x 109/ l;
  • 4-5 years: 6 - 10 x 109/ l;
  • 10 years: 6 - 10 x 109/ l;
  • 15 years: 5 - 9 x 109/ l.

In addition, it is necessary to take into account the heterogeneity of leukocytes, namely the percentage of neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils. If the content of the last three is maintained at a certain level, then the number of neutrophils, especially segmented, and lymphocytes varies significantly.

At the age from one month to two years, there is a maximum level of lymphocytes. In 4-5 years, their level is compared with neutrophils, but even at the age of 15 years, the number of these cells is greater than in adults. This situation is explained by the fact that a large number of immune reactions occur in the children's body, and the lymphocytes are their direct participants.

What to do with deviations from the norm?

What to do with elevated leukocyte count

A large number of leukocytes in the blood is not a specific disease, but can indicate another problem:

  • infection;
  • stress;
  • inflammation;
  • trauma;
  • an allergic reaction or a specific disease.

That is why an increased number of leukocytes and changes in the leukocyte formula require further study. Consultation with a doctor, the appointment of additional research.

In conclusion, I would like to note that you need to take a responsible approach to donating blood for analysis, not to avoid it when prescribing or undergoing a preventive physical examination. This will allow the doctor to exclude the manifestation of physiological leukocytosis, correctly make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment of the underlying disease. Health and success to you!