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Constant inflammation of chest wall since open heart surgery. Recent labs show high lymph count. Bothersome?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I am an 82-year old male.
Recent routine blood tests disclosed that I have a Lymph count of 43.5 (versus a recommended upper limit of 40).
6.5 years ago I had open heart surgery and a pacemaker inplant, but I am otherwise healthy - with the following exception:
Since my open-heart surhery, I have had a chronic, constant inflammation of the chest wall lining, [Based on online information, I learned that this might be a symptom of costochondritis, but I am not sure.]
To my knowledge, I have not had a virus in the past several months.
What could possibly be the reason(s) for the high Lymoh ciount; and is it something I should be concerned about?
Thank you, XXXXXXX
Posted Mon, 10 Jun 2013 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Pankaj Malhan 6 hours later

Thanks for asking.

Lymphocytes are the white blood cells found in the immune system. They function as the main antibodies and defense against viral infections. The body has a normal range of lymphocyte count which is 15 to 40% of the white blood cells, although most of the laboratories will take a figure of around 45% as an acctable upper limit.

In your case, 43% lymphocytes with no signs of any viral infection do not advocate any further testing.

You can redo the levels in 4-6 weeks to see if the value is increasing.An increase in the value in a short span of time is probably more important than the absolute value of 43 which is just about the upper range.

Open heart surgery leads to cutting of the superficial nerves , and can lead to pain, irritation in the sternal area,but without any discharge or other symptoms.


Please let me know if you need further information.
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