Your Lymphocyte Count

What Causes Abnormal Lymphocyte Count?

Abnormal lymphocyte count can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose abnormal lymphocyte count, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "abnormal lymphocyte count" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Addison's Disease
  • Sepsis
  • Brucellosis
  • Mumps

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
vision disturbances
recent onset fatigue
having a slight fever
high T3 free level
high iodine consumption
very great unexplained weight loss
Addison's disease
inability to work under pressure
low TSH
slight abdominal distension
fatigue after slight exertion
recent loss/regaining of appetite
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal lymphocyte count:
Cause Probability Status
Hyperthyroidism 91% Confirm
Infectious Mononucleosis 21% Unlikely
Brucellosis 14% Unlikely
Addison's Disease 4% Ruled out
Aplastic Anemia 0% Ruled out
Sepsis 0% Ruled out
Tuberculosis 0% Ruled out
Mumps 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
White Blood Cells - Lymphocyte Percentage [fraction]
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Under 20% [0.20] (low)
→ 20 to 45% [0.20-0.45] (normal)
→ 46 to 55% [0.46-0.55] (elevated)
→ Over 55% [0.55] (high)
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate low lymphocyte count, normal lymphocyte count, elevated lymphocyte count or highly elevated lymphocyte count, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
(Prescription) Drug Side-Effects

Certain drugs, such as mephenytoin, dilantin and para-aminosalicylic acid, can cause an increased lymphocyte count.

Bone Marrow Suppression

Lymphocytes are made in the bone marrow, so when the bone marrow isn't functioning properly, lymphocyte counts can drop.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

A complete blood count may show large numbers of lymphocytes in a pertussis patient.

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