Abnormal white blood cell count can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'critical'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose abnormal white blood cell count, we could:
|Chemotherapy Side-Effects||2%||Ruled out|
|Chronic Infection||1%||Ruled out|
|Diverticular Disease||0%||Ruled out|
|Hemolytic Anemia||0%||Ruled out|
|Drug Side-Effects||0%||Ruled out|
Leukocytes (White Blood Cell count - WBC). Unit: x10^3/uL or x10^9/L. NOTE: If your results show large numbers, divide by 1000 (i.e. 3900 becomes 3.9).
Possible responses:→ Don't know
→ Under 3.5
→ 3.5 to 4.8
→ 4.9 to 10.0 (normal)
→ Over 10.0
A high white-blood-cell count is often a sign of infection.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy destroy fast-growing cells such as white blood cells. Patients receiving a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy are at greater risk of a low white count.
Active lupus and an infection may share many symptoms. Further, infection can induce a lupus flare or be difficult to distinguish from a lupus flare. A low white blood cell count is suggestive of active lupus (although certain viruses can also give a low white count) while a high count suggests infection.