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White Cell Count


White Blood Cell (WBC) Count measures the number of white blood cells in the blood. White blood cells are key to your body's immune system. They fight infections and protect your body from foreign invaders such as harmful germs and bacteria. Additionally, they produce many antibodies and memory cells to protect you from further infections with the same germ.

What might a low result mean?

A low WBC is normally a temporary finding and usually means that your body has been fighting an infection and your white cell count is depleted. Other causes can include vitamin deficiencies such as B12 or folate, liver diseases, and immune disorders such as HIV.

A low WBC count may also be induced by certain medication regimes, such as chemotherapy, which can prevent the bone marrow from producing sufficient white blood cells.

What might a high result mean?

An elevated white blood cell (WBC) count is a normal bodily response to infection and bodily damage, as the immune system sends many WBCs to the site to fight infections and clear dead cells. Consequently, WBC counts will be raised in people with bacterial infections or who have undergone trauma.

Raised WBC counts can also be caused by some blood disorders and by taking certain medications such as corticosteroids.