Leukocytosis( elevated leukocytes in the blood): the norm or pathology?

If the doctor tells the patient that in the analysis the white blood cells in the blood are elevated, this is no reason for the disorder. Leukocytes are very "smart" cells, their functional purpose is so important for a person that sometimes one has to worry more about the level being lowered rather than elevated. What are these important elements, why does our health depend on their content?

What you need to know about leukocyte

Leukocytes are produced in the bone marrow, lymph nodes. Destroyed in the spleen. In the people they are for some reason called "white blood" cells, although under a microscope with a special stain of a blood smear they do not look white, but violet-pink of varying intensity. In relation to dyes, they are usually divided into neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils. The shape and structure of the nucleus secrete more specific types of cells.

Appearance of leukocytes under an electron microscope
Leukocytes look under the

microscope. The main task of leukocytes is the formation of a mechanism of protection against foreign agents( bacteria, viruses, toxins, waste slags).To do this, each type of cells of the leukocyte series performs its work: some are set up to detect extraneous implantation, others perform recognition of "one's own", others train and transmit the information to new young cells. A special role belongs to the killer cells. They are large and slow, "floating" in the bed of blood until they receive an order for the destruction of pests. Then there is an environment with the subsequent dissolution of the "enemy" inside the shell.

This mechanism provides immunity. The degree of growth of the number of immune cells in the blood speaks about the existing capabilities of the organism to stand up for oneself.

Any increase in leukocytes in the blood is called leukocytosis.

It is important to conduct an analysis and to establish, at the expense of which type of leukocytes their total growth is fixed.

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Leukocytes in the blood

Reasons for a decrease in white blood cells

The norm of the leukocyte composition of blood in an adult includes:

  • neutrophils 40-75%,
  • lymphocytes 20-45%,
  • monocytes 3-8%,
  • eosinophils up to 5%,
  • basophils up to 1%.

Neutrophils are subdivided into segment-nuclear( 47-72%) and stabnuclear( 1-6%).

Reduced immunity means a violation of the composition in the group of leukocytes or their overall decrease. Various diseases require active protection, and the body increases the production of leukocytes. In the analyzes, leukocytosis is determined, the level of increase can be used to judge the nature of the inflammatory reaction, the own capabilities of the person who has fallen ill, the causes of the disease.

What is the norm?

Changes in the composition and total number of leukocytes occur during the day, depending on the age, time and quality of the food taken. There are no significant sex differences.

The norm in men and women is considered to be from 4.0 to 8.8 x 109 / liter of blood. The child has an upper limit of 17 x 109 / l.

One type of increase in the level of leukocytes is called physiological. It depends on the natural reaction of the body to additional effects and helps a person cope with the digestion of food, physical activity, changes in external temperature, adapt to climatic conditions, and transfer the stressful situation.

It is characteristic that in the elderly due to a sharp drop in the immunity of the increase in leukocytes is not observed.

To exclude possible effects on blood indices, the analysis is always taken in the morning and on an empty stomach. In this way, more reliable information is obtained.

Diagnosis of diseases takes into account:

  • absolute leukocytosis - an increase in the upper limit of the leukocyte level is observed against the background of normal indices of other blood cells( erythrocytes and platelets);
  • relative - blood thickening with large blood loss, burns, prolonged vomiting and loss of fluid leads to the detection of a high concentration of leukocytes.

Types of leukocytosis and its causes

Physiological leukocytosis occurs in the normal state of each person, it does not cause any health problems. Leukocytes in the blood can be raised briefly - this is a temporary leukocytosis. It is observed during stress reactions, agitation and stops at rest.

Other causes of physiological leukocytosis:

  • in young children as a reaction to new lure;
  • in women there is a slight increase in leukocyte cells during pregnancy, before menstruation;
  • after severe physical exertion;
  • as a result of changing climatic conditions and moving to a new place of residence;
  • long stay in the sun, sunburn;
  • , some people are so responsive to weather conditions, the change of seasons.

A pathological increase in the level of leukocytes is 2-3 times. This reaction is also considered protective, but it indicates to the doctor the need to understand and identify the reasons.

The laboratory assistant counts the leukocyte formula
Laboratory assistant counts leukocytes

The diagnostic value is not only the general leukocytosis, but also the fact which cells of the leukocyte number are increased. This principle distinguishes the most common causes and diseases.

Increase in the number of neutrophils - neutrophilia often combines with general leukocytosis. It is observed in shock states, acute inflammatory processes, intoxication, bleeding, blood transfusion, acute myocardial infarction. The maximum value is observed with myeloleukemia, when the leukocytosis reaches 50-100 x 109 / l. The causes of such changes can be expressed in the form of a leukemoid reaction in sepsis, tuberculosis, metastases of a malignant tumor into the bone marrow.

Increase in the number of eosinophils - eosinophilia always accompanies allergic reactions, is observed in helminthic invasion, childhood infections( especially characteristic of scarlet fever), less often with tumors, lymphoganulomatosis.

Increased level of of basophils - basophilia is rare, usually with eosinophilia.

Growth of lymphocytes - lymphocytosis - an obligatory symptom after removal of the spleen, with tuberculosis, whooping cough. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia, they reach 90% of the total leukocyte formula, blocking other cells.

Monocytosis - increased content of monocytes is found in long-term infections, especially high numbers in chronic monocytic leukemia.

Clinical manifestations of

There are no specific symptoms of leukocytosis. The physiological mechanism is not manifested in any way. In pathology, the main diseases are those that caused leukocytosis and their symptoms. Some authors hold the opinion that it is because of the increase in leukocytes in the blood that a person feels increased fatigue, weakness. Indirect signs are loss of appetite, weight loss, long-term temperature reaction.

Treatment of

Treatment of leukocytosis is necessary only if it "works" not as a protective reaction, but is caused by a pathological mechanism. Such processes are called autoimmune. They consist in the erroneous recognition of alien elements, when their cells are taken for others and begin to be destroyed. This is the main mechanism of development of systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid polyarthritis. In the treatment of these diseases, funds that block the production of leukocytes are used.

With organ and tissue transplantation, leukocytosis increases tissue rejection, so drugs are used to suppress the reaction.

For any detection of elevated white blood cells in the blood, a checkup should be performed, and chronic foci of infection( carious teeth, palatine tonsils, chronic sinusitis, adnexitis in women) treated. Your doctor will prescribe a course of therapy followed by a control analysis. Do not try to influence on your own immunity. This mechanism is very vulnerable, and your efforts can lead to the opposite result.