Leukocytes High or Low Other — What Does It Mean?


Blood is basically formed by three main components: red blood cells or erythrocytes, white blood cells or leukocytes and platelets or thrombocytes. The problems related to the changes of these components in the blood can be identified through blood test, allowing a quantitative and qualitative analysis of it.

The leukocytes, also called white blood cells are colorless, spherical shape, produced by bone marrow and can be found throughout the human body, especially in blood and lymphatic system. These cells are rounded and unlike the red blood cells and platelets, cell containing core. Leukocytes are studied for over 150 years and there are several reports on the observation of its features.

The white blood cells are grouped into two categories: mononuclear leukocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes) and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils). These cells play a defense function of the body, helping to rid it of various diseases, especially those caused by viruses, parasites and bacteria, including infections and allergies.

Leukocytes are also responsible for cleaning the body, helping to eliminate dead cells and tissues that need to be eliminated. In rare cases, they can attack the body's own tissues, causing the so-called autoimmune diseases. Once they are formed, leukocytes are sent by the bloodstream and are transported to where it is necessary to act.

high or low white blood cells too: what is it?

Various factors can influence the release of these cells, and is always a certain amount of stored leukocytes in the bone marrow, representing a cell supply. When a virus, a bacterium or other organism enters the body improperly, leukocytes are attracted to sites occurring substances in a migratory response. This process is known as chemotaxis.

The life of leukocytes after its release in the bloodstream lasts for about 4 to 8 hours and in tissues where they act, the life of leukocytes is 4 to 5 days. In an adult, millions of white blood cells die every day and their remains are subsequently removed by macrophages.

Leukocytes are part of the process performed by the immune system and each subtype this group performs a very specific and distinct function together form the set of all immunological processes.

The structure of a leukocyte viewed through the optical microscope is divided into granular and agranulosos. Among the granular leukocytes are neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils. The agranulosos leukocytes are divided into monocytes and lymphocytes.

What are the reference values ​​of leukocytes?

The blood test called a complete blood count, is one of the most requested examinations by doctors, allowing the evaluation of the count of all blood cells, including the total leukocyte count. It is also possible to obtain the leukocyte count in the urine as well.

Through the CBC it is possible to make a total leukocyte count to evaluate the patient's health. An adult human being has about 30% of leucocytes in all types of blood cells. The normal reference values ​​of white blood cells in the blood will vary from person to person, depending on age and sex. Normal value estimated for adults should be between 4,000 and 12,000 white blood cells / uL. Any change in this count can bring serious problems to the body.

The results that have changed leukocytes can pose several problems. When the exam has high leukocyte (values ​​above 12,000 white blood cells / uL) this is called leukocytosis, and may represent a bacterial infection, inflammation, a trauma, a significant increase in stress and may indicate even a leukemia frame. The increase in the number of white blood cells indicates the existence of an intense activity in fighting infections caused by bacteria.

When the test has low leukocytes (values ​​below 4,000 WBC / ul) this is called leukopenia, there may be some variation in these values ​​over the life of the patient and are, however, usually associated with some health problem. Leukopenia may represent a symptom of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and be related to diseases of the immune system.

  • See too: Young refuses chemotherapy diet without carbohydrates and exceeds life expectancy.

In addition, low white blood cells may be associated with tumors and fibrosis, liver diseases, kidney diseases, autoimmune diseases, the presence of cytotoxic substances, also emerging on the basis of a serious failure of the cord due to therapy with corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive drugs, Hodgkin's disease, among others. physical, chemical or biological agents which may interfere in the bone marrow may cause the reduction of leukocytes.

In general, patients with low white blood cells show no apparent symptoms, as these symptoms are already related to the presence of another illness that can trigger the reduction in the number of leukocytes in the blood.

What does the presence of abnormal white blood cells?

Many factors are related to low leukocytes. In the elderly, for example, this count may represent problems of infections with viruses and bacteria, but may also occur due to the use of some drugs (antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives, cortisone, substances used in the treatment of diabetes and disease thyroid, diuretics, tranquilizers) and even due to the presence of a cancer.

Factors related to high leukocytes are also many. The leukocytosis can occur due to the presence of inflammatory processes, acute infectious diseases such as appendicitis and pneumonia, and can also be the result of pregnancy and menstruation done by muscular exercise effort. High levels of detected leukocytes in the urine also can indicate an infection, particularly an infection in the kidney.


Maintaining physical and mental health depends on many factors. For this reason, it is always important to keep a proper routine medical follow-up for that through periodic examinations, including blood tests, it is possible if you notice any changes in normal levels of blood cells - including high leukocytes or low - helping in the prevention and diagnosis of possible diseases.

Additional references:

  • Hisano, M. Bruschini, H., Nicodemus, A.C., & Srougi, M. (2012, June). Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention. Clinics (Sao Paulo), 67 (6), 661-667.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, February 15). Urinalysis: Results.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, July 23). Urinary tract infection: Symptoms.
  • What are white blood cells? (N.d.).
    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=160&ContentID = 35
  • What protection can you take against warfarin side effects? (2015, January 6).
  • Urinary infections. (2015, March 16).
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/high-white-blood-cell-count/basics/causes/sym-20050611

Have you ever been diagnosed in a blood test or urine test to high or low white blood cells? What your doctor diagnosed? Comment below.