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Prednisone and WBC elevated - worried
I was hoping that someone knowledgeable here might be able to assist me in interpreting my CBC tests.

White Blood Cell Count - 15.4 (flagged as high)

Absolute : Neuts 9.7 (flagged as high)
Lymph 4.5 (flagged as high)
Mono 1.1 (flagged as high)

The rest were all in range.

I am taking a high dose of prednisone for cluster headaches and have been told that this would elevate the WBC. Does this indicate a systemic infection or is this something that can be expected with high dose prednisone.?

I would appreciate anyone's viewpoints who know about these things.
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Avatar universal
Hi there. It is very, very common for prednisone to raise your white count. Usually the higher the dose of prednisone, the higher the white count
goes The white count is not a real good predicter of infection for those who are on chronic steroids as the white count can become quite
elevated without any infection. Even small doses of prednisone, administered over a prolonged period of time, can induce extreme and persistent leukocytosis. This is of consequence especially when infection is suspected, particularly in an immunocompromised host. However, a shift to the left in the peripheral white blood cells which  more than 6 percent band forms, and the appearance of toxic granulation may assist in the differential diagnosis between infection, in which the latter are observed, and corticosteroid-induced leukocytosis, in which they are rare. Hope this helps you and answers to your query. Take care.
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