Elevated white blood cells

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 20.11.2021

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Elevated leukocytes are a clear signal of invasion of the human body by foreign elements, as these cells are the main protectors of organs, systems against all sorts of diseases and instantly react to the attack of viruses and bacteria.

They are able to independently move and use their specific species to recognize, hydrolyze (ferment), process and remove harmful protein elements, microorganisms. This group of white blood cells - white blood cells is almost colorless. White bodies practically function throughout the body - in the bloodstream, mucous membranes, tissues of organs, and also in lymph. White blood cells are divided into species and subspecies, which perform certain specific functions:

  1. Lymphocytes are responsible for the production of antibodies, which in turn neutralize viruses, bacteria and their toxins. Antibodies are also divided by function, some are capable of defeating only certain elements, others are multifunctional - they are combating several pathogens.
  2. Monocytes perform phagocytic activity as soon as they exit the bloodstream, becoming macrophages. They absorb harmful agents and products of their vital activity, and also point them to their other leukocyte "brethren". 
  3. Neutrophils carry out phagocytosis more thoroughly and widely than monocytes. In addition to the destruction of viruses and bacteria, they carry out detoxification - remove the treated substances and disinfect the body. 
  4. Eosinophils participate in homeostasis (self-regulation of body systems), secrete an antihistamine substance - an enzyme that cleaves inflammatory mediators, detoxifies, cleanses the body of the products of decay. 
  5. Basophils take part in the immune response to the intrusion of a harmful agent - secrete granules that cause allergic symptoms. Also, basophils adsorbed immunoglobulin E, isolated by lymphocytes and plasmocytes, and when the allergen re-invades, basophils release histamine, heparin and serotonin.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]

What is the norm of leukocytes in the human body?

Normal boundaries are considered within the limits of such indicators - 4-9x10 9. It is also important to take into account the quantitative ratio of species and subspecies - the leukocyte formula: 

  • Lymphocytes - 19-38%; 
  • Monocytes - 2-11%; 
  • Eosinophils 0.5-5%; 
  • The number of basophils is 0.1%; 
  • Stab neutrophils - 1-6%; 
  • Neutrophils segmentonuclear - 47-72%.

Any change in the formula (shift) indicates a possible pathological process. Elevated leukocytes are called leukocytosis, which is divided into two categories according to the specifics of the factors that provoke it. Factors can be physiological, that is, due to natural causes, as well as pathogenic.

Elevated leukocytes due to physiological factors

  • Digestive (food intake, especially protein). Norm with this factor are considered indicators that do not exceed the upper limit of the norm (an average increase of 1-3 thousand per 1mkl). In the process of digestion, they accumulate in the small intestine in order to create a barrier for the penetration of harmful agents into the lymph and bloodstream. In this case, elevated white blood cells are normal; 
  • Physical factor. With intensive physical exertion, white blood cells can increase 5-fold, since the load activates the process of hematopoiesis in the bone marrow. Cells rush into muscle tissue, this function is redistribution. The physical factor is also called myogenic (muscle); 
  • Emotional factor. White corpuscles can rise with severe stress, but their rate exceeds the norm slightly; 
  • The natural factor in pregnancy. Cells rush into submucosal tissue of the uterus in order to activate its contraction, since temporarily any introduction into it is considered threatening, even embryoblast, fetus. They also protect the uterus from invasion of infections.

trusted-source[11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20]

Elevated leukocytes due to pathological factors

  • Infectious processes - sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis; 
  • Infections of the cellular structure of the immune system - lymphocytosis, mononucleosis; 
  • Processes provoking an acute immune reaction - collagenosis, serum sickness, glomerulonephritis; 
  • Inflammatory processes of microbial etiology, purulent-septic processes (phlegmon, peritonitis); 
  • Inflammatory processes associated with systemic diseases of connective tissue - rheumatoid arthritis, SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus); 
  • Intoxications (food, gas chemical, medicinal); 
  • Necrosis of organs (myocardial infarction, myocardial infarction, intestinal infarction, kidney), pancreatic necrosis; 
  • Burns more than 10% of the skin; 
  • Uremia, diabetic ketoacidosis; 
  • Blood loss, including after surgery; 
  • Onkoprotsessy, except those that are accompanied by metastases to the bone marrow (this, as a rule, leukopenia - lowering the level of white bodies).

It should be noted that the above factors, which provoke elevated white blood cells in humans. With a relatively healthy immune system. The organism of elderly people with chronic diseases, weakening immunity, as well as people suffering from chemical addiction (alcoholism, drug addiction) weakly reacts to pathological factors in terms of leukocyte activity.

Elevated leukocytes are usually an increase in the number of the most active leukocyte species - neutrophils, other subspecies are much less likely to increase. Leukocytosis caused by changes in the number of morphological species: 

  • Elevated leukocytes (neutrophilic leukocytosis). Absolute number of neutrophils increases in the vascular bed with hemoblastosis (bone marrow diseases), acute infections, chronic form of the inflammatory process; 
  • Eosinophilic leukocytosis occurs with allergies, often with a reactive response of the immune system to vaccinations or medications; 
  • Elevated leukocytes (basophilic) are characteristic for the period of pregnancy, worn out form of hypothyroidism, myxedema, NNC - ulcerative colitis; 
  • Elevated leukocytes (lymphocyte) is possible with hepatitis of viral etiology, whooping cough, syphilis, brucellosis, tuberculosis; 
  • Elevated leukocytes (monocytic) are very rare, indicative of sarcoidosis, oncoprocess.

Elevated leukocytes are most often a consequence of infections that affect the cells of the immune system. Leukocyte response in the form of an increase in the number in the acute period of the disease is much more favorable in terms of therapeutic predictions than leukopenia, which indicates a weak resistance of the organism. It should also be noted that leukocytosis is absolute (mobilization), redistribution (most often in the phylum of physiological factors) and relative (blood thickening). A significant excess of the norm limits (hundreds of thousands of units) indicates a clonal neoplastic disease - leukemia.

Elevated white blood cells are not a disease, it is one of the indicators of the protective function of the immune system. Talking about the treatment of elevated white blood cells is incorrect and wrong from a medical point of view. The treatment technique is directly related to the etiology of leukocytosis, that is, with the underlying disease.

trusted-source[21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28]

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