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what can the results of a white blood cell differential test indicate

by Ms. Evangeline Fahey Published 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago
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A differential blood count is a blood test to check your white blood cell levels, which can indicate the presence of infection, disease, or an allergic reaction.Nov 1, 2021

Full Answer

What causes an elevated white blood cell count?

Overall, the most common cause for a high white blood cell count is response to infection. Another potential cause of an elevated white blood cell count is leukemia. This is effectively a cancerous change of the blood and bone marrow which causes significant overproduction of white blood cells.

What is a dangerous white blood cell count?

What is a dangerous white blood cell count? It can vary by age and gender, but you are considered to have a low white blood cell count with less than 4,500 white blood cells per microliter of blood. The lower this number goes, the more susceptible you are to infections.

What if white cell is higher than red blood cell?

High white blood cell count isn't a specific disease, but it can indicate other problems such as, infection, stress, inflammation, trauma, allergies or certain other diseases. So, a high white blood cell count usually requires further investigation. Low RBC count usually refers to the anemic condition of the body.

What is a normal white blood cell differential?

White blood cells (WBC) are a heterogeneous group of nucleated cells that can be found in circulation for at least a period of their life. Their normal concentration in blood varies between 4000 and 10,000 per microliter. They play a most important role in phagocytosis and immunity and therefore in defense against infection.

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What does the differential white blood cell count indicate about this patient?

A differential blood count gives the relative percentage of each type of white blood cell and also helps to reveal abnormal white blood cell populations (eg, blasts, immature granulocytes, and circulating lymphoma cells in the peripheral blood).

What can the results of a white blood cell differential test indicate quizlet?

the percentage of each type of white blood cell (WBC) that you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are any abnormal or immature cells. This test is done to diagnose an infection, anemia, and leukemia. It may also be used to see if treatment for any of these conditions is working.

What does a white blood cell differential tell a provider?

A WBC differential may be used to help diagnose the cause of a high or low white blood cell (WBC) count results seen on a CBC. It may also be used to help diagnose and/or monitor other diseases and conditions that affect one or more different types of WBCs.

What does high white blood cell differential mean?

There are many reasons your blood differential test results may be higher or lower than normal. For example, a high white blood cell count may mean you have an infection, an immune disorder, leukemia, or an allergic reaction. A low count may be caused by bone marrow problems, reactions to medicines, or cancer.

Which white blood cell represents the greatest percentage in a normal differential count?

When taking a Differential WBC Count of normal blood, this type of cell would be the most numerous. Normally, neutrophils account for 50-70% of all leukocytes.

What type of white blood cell is elevated in allergic and parasitic infections?

Basophils: These represent less than 1% of white blood cells in the body and are typically present in increased numbers after an allergic reaction. Eosinophils: These are responsible for responding to infections that parasites cause.

What does abnormal CBC with differential mean?

Abnormal levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, or hematocrit may be a sign of anemia, heart disease, or too little iron in your body. Low white cell count may be a sign of an autoimmune disorder, bone marrow disorder, or cancer. High white cell count may be a sign of an infection or a reaction to medicine.

Why would a doctor order a CBC with differential?

A CBC with differential is used to help diagnose and monitor many different conditions, including anemia and infection. Also called blood cell count with differential.

Do viruses cause high white blood cell count?

When you get sick, your body makes more white blood cells to fight the bacteria, viruses, or other foreign substances causing your illness. This increases your white blood count.

What are the symptoms of high white blood cell count?

Symptoms of common conditions that may be associated with a high white blood cell count include:Fever.Fatigue.Decreased appetite.Sweats.Chills.Swelling of an area of infection.Joint swelling due to infection or autoimmune disease.Itching, with or without a rash.More items...•

What causes white blood cells to be elevated?

A high white blood cell count usually indicates: An increased production of white blood cells to fight an infection. A reaction to a drug that increases white blood cell production. A disease of bone marrow, causing abnormally high production of white blood cells.

What is the normal range of differential count?

Normal Results Neutrophils: 40% to 60% Lymphocytes: 20% to 40% Monocytes: 2% to 8% Eosinophils: 1% to 4%

What is a WBC differential?

The white blood cell differential is often used as part of a complete blood count (CBC) as a general health check. (This testing is sometimes called CBC with differential or CBC with diff for short.) A WBC differential may be used to help diagnose the cause of a high or low white blood cell (WBC) count results seen on a CBC.

What is differential blood test?

A differential may be performed along with or following a complete blood count (CBC), a test often used as a general health check, or it may be performed in follow-up to abnormal results on a CBC. Most often, a differential is performed on an automated blood analyzer.

How to find absolute values of WBCs?

Absolute values are calculated by multiplying the total number of WBCs by the percentage of each type of white cell. In adults, neutrophils typically make up the highest number of WBCs, followed by lymphocytes, then monocytes, eosinophils and basophils.

What test can show WBCs?

Results are often interpreted along with additional tests such as a blood smear exam , which can show the presence of abnormal and/or immature WBCs. In a few serious diseases, some immature forms of the cells are released from the bone marrow into the circulation and may be detected by the WBC differential.

Why does bone marrow produce more WBCs?

When there is an infection or an inflammatory process somewhere in the body, the bone marrow produces more WBCs, releasing them into the blood. Depending on the cause of infection or inflammation, one particular type of WBC may be increased as opposed to other types.

What is the function of white blood cells?

White blood cells (WBCs), also called leukocytes, are cells that circulate in the blood and the lymphatic system that help protect the body against infections. They are an important part of the body's immune system and also have a role in inflammation, allergies, and protection against cancer. A WBC differential categorizes the numbers of each ...

What to do if results indicate a problem?

If results indicate a problem, a wide variety of other tests may be performed in order to help determine the cause. A healthcare provider will typically consider your signs and symptoms, medical history, and results of a physical examination to decide what other tests may be necessary.

What is differential blood test?

A differential blood test is one of many lab tests that a doctor can use to confirm a diagnosis of an infection or illness. Values can vary from lab to lab, and a person should carefully review their results with the doctor. Last medically reviewed on June 27, 2018. Urinary Tract Infection. Blood / Hematology.

What does it mean when your white blood cell count changes?

The bone marrow is responsible for producing white blood cells, so changes in white blood cell counts can indicate how well the bone marrow is functioning. A doctor may order a differential blood test if a person has symptoms, such as: body aches. chills. fever.

Why is my basophil count low?

Low: A low basophil count does not typically suggest a medical condition. However, stress, allergic reactions, steroid use, and hyperthyroidism can each cause a basophil count to be low. High: A high eosinophil count tends to result from an allergic reaction, such as asthma, eczema or a reaction to a medication.

What does a high basophil count mean?

A high count can also indicate that a person has severe allergic reactions. People with inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis, may also have high basophil counts.

Why is my lymphocyte count high?

Or, a lymphocyte count may be high because of a bacterial infection, such as tuberculosis or pertussis, or a condition such as lymphocytic leukemia or lymphoma.

What is the role of T lymphocytes in the immune system?

T lymphocytes help to identify cells that require an immune response. Natural killer cells, the third type, destroy cancer cells and viruses. Each type of white blood cell plays an essential role in the immune system.

How many types of white blood cells are there?

There are five types of white blood cell, and the test also shows how many of each type are present. The results provide information about the condition of a person’s immune system and how it responds to diseases and other threats. In this article, learn more about how doctors use the differential blood test and how they interpret its results.

What is differential WBC?

A differential can also detect immature white blood cells and abnormalities, both of which are signs of potential issues. A WBC count can also be called a leukocyte count, and a WBC differential can also be called a leukocyte differential count. Read more: WBC (white blood cell) count ».

What does differential results indicate?

Differential results may indicate certain conditions, which are discussed below. An increase in neutrophils in your blood may be caused by: A decrease in neutrophils in your blood may be caused by: An increase in lymphocytes in your blood may be caused by: A decrease in lymphocytes may be caused by:

How long do you have to wait for WBC results?

Depending on which tests your doctor ordered, you may have to wait several days for results. A single WBC count or differential test doesn’t tell the whole story of what’s going on in your body. However, both tests are important tools that help your doctor find out what might be causing your symptoms.

What are the different types of cells that are affected by a disease?

neutrophils. lymphocytes. monocy tes. eosinophils. basophils. Each of these can be affected in different ways if you have a particular condition or disease. A white blood cell (WBC) count measures the number of white blood cells in your blood, and a WBC differential determines the percentage of each type of white blood cell present in your blood. ...

What causes a decrease in lymphocytes?

viral infection, such as the mumps or measles. A decrease in lymphocytes may be caused by: chemotherapy. HIV infection. leukemia. sepsis. radiation exposure, either accidental or from radiation therapy. An increase in monocytes may be caused by: chronic inflammatory disease.

What are the conditions that require WBC?

Your doctor may request a WBC count and differential if they suspect you have one of several conditions, including: anemia. infection. leukemia. Both tests can help your doctor determine if your symptoms are due to high or low WBC levels, which will help them understand what condition you may have.

What is the role of white blood cells in the immune system?

White blood cells are an important part of your body’s immune system. They’re responsible for protecting your body against infections and invading organisms. You have five types of white blood cells:

Why do you need a differential blood test?

A blood differential test is also necessary if your CBC results are not within the normal range. Your doctor may also order a blood differential test if they suspect that you have an infection, inflammation, bone marrow disorder, or autoimmune disease.

How do you check your white blood cell level?

Your doctor checks your white blood cell levels by testing a sample of your blood. This test is often performed at an outpatient clinical laboratory. The healthcare provider at the lab uses a small needle to draw blood from your arm or hand. No special preparation before the test is necessary.

What is the condition where the number of neutrophils decreases?

neutropenia, a white blood cell disorder that can be caused by a lack of neutrophil production in the bone marrow. aplastic anemia, a decrease in the number of blood cells produced by your bone marrow. a severe or widespread bacterial or viral infection.

What is a differential test?

The blood differential test can detect abnormal or immature cells. It can also diagnose an infection, inflammation, leukemia, or an immune system disorder. The blood differential test can detect abnormal or immature cells. It can also diagnose an infection, inflammation, leukemia, or an immune system disorder.

What test can tell if a high white blood cell count is caused by cancer?

eosinophil count test. flow cytometry, which can tell if a high white blood cell count is caused by cancers of the blood. immunophenotyping, which can help find the best treatment for a condition caused by abnormal blood cell counts.

What causes a decrease in lymphocytes in the blood?

lymphocytic leukemia. A decreased percentage of lymphocytes in your blood can be a result of: bone marrow damage due to chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

What does it mean when you have a high percentage of neutrophils?

An increased percentage of neutrophils in your blood can mean that you have: neutrophilia, a white blood cell disorder that can be caused by an infection, steroids, smoking, or rigorous exercise. neutropenia, a white blood cell disorder that can be caused by a lack of neutrophil production in the bone marrow.

What is a white blood cell differential?

A white blood cell differential is a medical laboratory test that provides information about the types and amounts of white blood cells in a person's blood. The test, which is usually ordered as part of a complete blood count (CBC), measures the amounts of the five normal white blood cell types – neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, ...

When did the white blood cell differential become common practice?

By the early years of the 20th century , the white blood cell differential had become a common practice in the United States, but difficulties in interpreting the results cast doubt on the test's utility.

What is a hematology analyzer?

Most hematology analyzers provide a five-part differential, enumerating neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils. Some instruments can also count immature granulocytes and nucleated red blood cells. Hematology analyzers measure various properties of white blood cells, such as impedance, light scattering parameters, and staining reactions. This data is analyzed and plotted on a scattergram, forming distinct clusters which correspond to white blood cell types. The analyzer counts many more cells than are counted in a manual differential, resulting in improved precision. If abnormal features or cell populations that the analyzer cannot identify are present, the instrument can flag the results for manual blood smear review.

What is the most common white blood cell?

Neutrophils are the most common white blood cells in normal adult blood. When stained with a Romanowsky stain, they exhibit a multi-lobed nucleus and pink cytoplasm that contains small purple granules.

How to do a blood smear?

A blood smear is prepared by placing a drop of blood on a microscope slide and using a second slide held at an angle to spread the blood and pull it across the slide, forming a "feathered edge" consisting of a single layer of cells at the end of the smear. This may be done by hand or using an automated slide maker coupled to a hematology analyzer. The slide is treated with a Romanowsky stain, commonly Wright's stain or Wright-Giemsa, and examined under the microscope. The smear is examined in a systematic pattern, scanning from side to side within the feathered edge and counting cells consecutively. The differential is typically performed at 400x or 500x magnification, but 1000x magnification may be used if abnormal cells are present. Cells are identified based on their morphologic features, such as the size and structure of their nucleus and the colour and texture of their cytoplasm. This allows abnormal cell types and changes in cellular appearance to be identified. In most cases, the microscopist counts 100 white blood cells, but 200 may be counted for better representation if the white blood cell count is high. The manual differential count produces percentages of each cell type, which can be multiplied by the total white blood cell count from the analyzer to derive the absolute values.

What is the name of the large white blood cell with a curved nucleus and a granul

Monocytes are large cells with a curved or folded nucleus and finely granulated, grey-blue cytoplasm that often contains vacuoles. Monocytes are the third most common white blood cell after neutrophils and lymphocytes.

What are the parameters of basophils?

Various cellular parameters, such as size, complexity and staining reactions, are measured and analyzed to identify cell populations. Basophils are often quantified using a reagent that lyses the cytoplasm of other white blood cells but leaves basophils intact.

How is it used?

The white blood cell differential assesses the ability of the body to respond to and fight infection. It also detects the severity of allergic reactions, parasitic and other types of infection, and drug reactions. It can also identify some types of leukaemia or lymphoma.

When is it requested?

The white blood cell differential is normally run as part of the full blood count (FBC), which is requested for many different conditions.

What does the test result mean?

The results indicate the percentage and absolute number of each type of white blood cell that is present.

Is there anything else I should know?

Eating, physical activity and stress may alter white blood cell differential values.

What are the individual functions of each type of white blood cell?

Neutrophils, the most abundant white blood cells, are 'phagocytes' - that is, they 'eat' foreign organisms and kill them with internal poisons. They are important for fighting bacterial and fungal infections.

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