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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Does high white blood count indicate leukemia?

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Dr. Jyothi B L

Pathologist and Microbiologist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 849 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 in Infections
Question: My white blood count has been elevated for 3 or more years . the highest has been 17 usually its under 15. MY last test was 15.6 my neu was 10.3 my mono 1.1 and my mchc was 30.4. Hematologist says whe thinks its inflammation but we need to watch . I am 54 amd diabetic and overweight . what could this be and if I have to be concerned with leukemia how long would I show these signs typically before it becomes an issue . Im tired of wondering if I have a serious issue.
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Answered by Dr. Jyothi B L 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It wont go to leukemia.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for asking.
I am Dr. Jyothi BL and I will be answering your query.

Looking at your clinical history and present query, my opinion is as follows:

1. WBC count is moderately raised and absolute counts of neutrophil and monocytes is midly raised. These appear to be in response to various inflammation of fibromyalgia, possible RA, bursitis and tendinitis. If you check your c-reactive protein (CRP) levels, it will be raised indicating inflammation. Even your ESR will be high indicating inflammation.

2. It appears to be only inflammation related. However, if you are thinking of leukemia, the leukemia that can occur at this age with these manifestations is Chronic myeloid leukemia. This usually presents with a count above one lakhs cell count with increase in basophils. It most of the times has a mutation called as XXXXXXX chromosome. Your platelet count will also be elevated above 5 lakhs/cmm and you will have a large spleen.

You do not have a serious leukemic issue. The inflammation is the one which is causing the raised cell counts.

You can check for ESR levels and CRP levels to show inflammatory cause of raised WBC count. Inflammation is not known to be a predisposing factor for development of chronic myeloid leukemia.
If you are still worried after this, you can get tested for presence of XXXXXXX chromosome (9:22 translocation) mutation. Presence of it does not confirm leukemia, but in future a certain risk is present.

Hope it helps.
Any further queries, happy to help again.
Dr. Jyothi BL


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