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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: High lymphocytes

 quickquestion - Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:43 pm

Hello, I recently received my cbc results. My doctor called me to say everything was normal, but when I received a copy in the mail, I saw differently. My WBC was 4.2 (4.5-10.8) and my lymphocytes were high 48.6.(normal low s 48.3) I was wondering if they were not signifcant enough to cause the doctor concern or not. He has been my doctor for many years, and I do not want to question him, so that is why I am asking you. Also why is it that the ranges for normal blood counts vary so much from lab to lab. Is there one standard that is followed, and if not... why?

Thank You for your time.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:53 pm

User avatar Hello,

Lymphocytes are small, mononuclear cells that migrate to areas of inflammation in both early and late stages of the process. They play an important role in immunologic reactions.

Normal lymphocyte count is in the rage between 16-45% of white blood cells (WBCs). Increased lymphocytes (lymphocytosis) in adults is defined as an absolute lymphocyte count greater than 4,000/mm3.

It is necessary to distinguish between absolute and relative lymphocytosis. Absolute lymphocytosis may be defined as an increase in blood lymphocytes above 4,000/mm3. Relative lymphocytosis occurs when there is an increased percentage of circulating lymphocytes, but the absolute number does not exceed 4,000/mm3.

Relative, rather than absolute, leukocytosis occurs in a number of clinical situations, such as infancy, viral infections, connective tissue diseases, thyrotoxicosis and Addison's disease. Splenomegaly causes relative lymphocytosis as a result of splenic sequestration of granulocytes.

What you have is very mild relative lymphocytosis. I wouldn't worry about it either.

As for your second question, for many lab tests there are many different lab kits / counter machines being used. That is why your results should always be interpreted within the context of the normal range specified in the test results.

Best regards.

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