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Lab Tests/White blood cell count

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Question
Last year my white blood cell count was a little high at 13. I went to the er last week and it's at a 17.9. I'm a little concerned because I do not have an infection. It has been high for over a year and it keeps going up. What could be the cause of this?

Answer
Hi, There are several different types of WBCs in the bloodstream, all of which perform different functions and which often exhibit out of range values in a CBC or manual differential depending on the diagnosis or cause, i.e.. bacterial, viral, etc.  For example, neutrophils or PMNs are often elevated in bacterial infections, lymphocytes are often elevated in viral infections, eosinophils may be elevated in allergies and parasitic infections, and immature blood cells, e. g., blasts, may appear in the peripheral bloodstream in various types of leukemias. Without knowing which specific WBCs were elevated, just from the information provided here, it would be impossible to even speculate on possible causes without the actual lab values, e. g. CBC results.  If you want to provide CBC results I may be able to provide more specific helpful information.

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Elizabeth, MSCIT, BSMT (ASCP)

Expertise

I can answer questions about the purpose of specific laboratory tests, and can suggest specific questions the patient may want to ask their physician regarding the interpretation of their laboratory testing results. I cannot diagnose diseases or be held responsible for any information or suggestions offered. The final authority and informational resource regarding the patient's medical treatment should be their own physician.

Experience

Clinical Systems Analyst at LALGC. 2 years of experience as an Allied Health Instructor teaching clinical lab skills at a Technical college for Associate Degree Clinical Medical Assisting students.

Organizations
ASCP, licensed as a Medical Technologist in the state of AR and in the state of HI.

Education/Credentials
BS in Medical Technology (ASCP), Licensed as a Medical Technologist in the state of HI, MS in Computer Information Technology, BA in Art

Awards and Honors
AR Children's Hospital Scholarship for Medical Technology Students

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