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Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Elevated WBC and Platelet Counts


 DrMario - Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:40 am

I've was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocytosis in 2002, and I have blood work done once every six months just to keep tabs on things. I just had an appointment with my hematologist and after reviewing my counts he seemed concerned with an elevation in my white blood cell count. He ordered more tests and that was the end of it. I'm concerned that the WBC count may be indicative of a bigger issue.
My platelet count was 1.5 million, and he didn't tell me the exact white count but it was enough for him to order a lot more blood to be drawn. Could this mean leukemia or something more serious? I'm uncomfortable that they were unable to explain the thrombocytosis at my young age (I was still in high school) and now my white count is getting crazy too. Any ideas / suggestions?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:30 pm

User avatar Hello --

Your doctor would be remiss to not explore possible causes of elevated WBC, and one reason is that it could indicate leukemia, but not necessarily. Sometimes thrombocytosis can co-exist with, or be combined with an overall overproduction of blood cells, white ones included (myeloproliferative diseases). This family of diseases generally have a pretty good prognosis, with a few exeptions. In other words, it's not especially surprising or unusual to find elevated white counts with this sort of problem, and it doesn't necessarily mean there's anything serious going on.

Some additional blood tests may help clarify the issue. If not, sometimes a bone marrow biopsy is necessary to determine just what's happening. If there are not symptoms this probably won't be rushed, however.

I hope this helps answer your concerns. I'm sure your hematologist will be following this appropriately, and you may by now have had additonal tests done. Hopefully it's nothing remarkable, which is often the case.

Good luck to you. Please update us if you learn anything new.

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