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How low % of lymphocytes is cause for concern?
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How low % of lymphocytes is cause for concern?

If 20 - 40% of white blood cells are made up of lymphocytes, and my lab results on last week's CBC w/differential came back with my lymphocytes at 17%, does that mean anything significant?

The always curious

Kathy
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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293157 tn?1285877039
sorry can't help...but sure would like to know..??

take care
wobbly
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559187 tn?1330786456
What was the reference range on your lab test?

Julie
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405614 tn?1329147714
Reference 20.0 - 53.0
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559187 tn?1330786456
What was your WBC?  Did they list an absolute lymph count? How were your monocytes?

I have chronic lymphopenia so know a little bit about it.  
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147426 tn?1317269232
nope.  Remember the reference range is for the middle percentiles and values slightly out of those ranges are rarely of note.

Q
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559187 tn?1330786456
I was going to say the same thing.  Nothing to worry about.  
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405614 tn?1329147714
that's what I figured, since everything else was amazingly normal!
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147426 tn?1317269232
Julie and I are on the same page, but my comment should have been more explanatory.

The different WBC types (Neutrophils or Polys, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils, and Basophils) are all reported by their percentages in the blood.  By definition, then, all the numbers must add up to 100%.

So if a person has a bacterial infection, the neutrophils may sky-rocket to more than 90% or so.  This means that the rest of the cell count percents must fall so that the sum is still 100%.

Julie is right that the more critical number is the Absolute count.  This number is achieved by multiplying the percentage of that cell type times the total white cell count.  If the Lymphs are a little low, one would look to the total count and also see if any other type is a higher % than usual.  If the total WBC is very high, like 20,000 (as you would see in some infections, a low lymphocyte count might still have a normal absolute count.

The upshot here is that we can not look at a single number in a CBC and be able to say much about it.  Only by looking at all the numbers do we get a sense that something is ou-of-whack (official medical term).

Quix
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405614 tn?1329147714
Hmm....

Looks like nothing is truly out-of whack

WBC 8.4;   range 3.5 - 11.0

Monocytes 7.1%;   range 1.0 - 10.0

Neutophils 75%;   range 40.0 - 81.0

Lymphocytes  Abs  1.4 ;   range 1.0 - 4.8

Monocytes Abs  0.6;   range 0.0 - 0.8

got tired of typing; pretty much comfortably within normal range.

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Avatar f tn
MY LYMPHOCYTES WERE RECENTLY WELL BELOW THE REF RANGE AT 5, my absolute lymphs were low also...this worries me as isn't this an increased risk of infection for me?
    The kids just want back to school, and I am concerned.
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667078 tn?1316004535
There is no reason to worry. You need to follow neutropenic safety precautions. Look on the web.Lots of hand washing and hand sanitizer. No raw vegetables. Watch for fever 101 and over. You do not have to wear a mask unless you are around sick people, hand washing is more important. Let other people open doors, elevator buttons and/ or use hand sanitizer. You do not need to be freaked out. I am on chemo all the time and so neutropenic. They give me neulasta shots which is ecoli to rev up your immune system. I do not like them. I also have a port going to my vena clava so I have to be more careful. Most of the time I am fine. My husband gets sick more than. I even got a cold at my sickest from being in the hospital and C-diff. I just wash my hands and use hand sanitizer. When I feel myself getting sick I gargle with salt water , use saline rinse for my nose, drink alot of water to flush out germs, and drink a lot of Pau-d- arco tea. Pau-d-arco comes from the Amazon and boosts the immune system. Colds usually last 2-4 days with these steps. Drinking lots of water is also important. Water flushes out germs.
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