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Prednisone and WBC elevated - worried
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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 dr f tn
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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