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
  • Steroid Abuse
  • Bone Marrow Suppression
  • Whooping Cough
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Toxoplasmosis

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:
some loss of muscle tone
often/always feeling unusually cold
inability to walk
much reduced sense of taste
low white blood cell count
minor cold weather muscle weakness
recent onset fatigue
poor bodily coordination
major voice change
increased sensitivity to touch
specific muscle weakness
inability to tell hot from cold
... and so on

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
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 91% Confirm
Bone Marrow Suppression 17% Unlikely
Steroid Abuse 12% Unlikely
Toxoplasmosis 3% Ruled out
Aplastic Anemia 1% Ruled out
Multiple Myeloma 1% Ruled out
Whooping Cough 0% Ruled out
Myasthenia Gravis 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.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Autoimmune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause reduced lymphocyte counts.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

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

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