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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have rheumatoid arthritis. What is the cause for enlarged spleen and high blood cell?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I am very frightened. High white blood cell count resulted in referral to hemotologist/oncologist who found enlarged spleen but said lymph nodes not swollen. He mentioned lymphoma - sent me for ultra sound. I have rheumatoid arthritis take enbrel and methotrexate still fighting copd symptoms and asthma flare that started in Nov. Is there a chance that this is the result of arthritis and meds?
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 in Arthritis
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 4 hours later
Hi, thanks for using health care magic

It is natural to frightened if you are unsure of the reasons for abnormal blood tests.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be associated with some changes in the full blood count. In terms of the white cell count, it can cause, in rare cases, mild elevation of the white cell but the elevation, if it does occur, is usually mild.
It would not be significant enough to have warrented further investigation.

The enbrel can be associated with a decrease in the white cell count. In extremely rare cases (only a few persons have been identified), this family of medication is associated with a type of lymphoma.As stated, this is a rare occurence.

Methotrexate can also be associated with decrease in white cell count, not usually an increase because it suppresses the body's ability to carry out certain functions.

The spleen has 4 basic functions and any abnormality of these functions can sometimes lead to enlargement.
The functions are (1) removal of any abnormal red blood cells from the blood
(2) producing some substances that are used in the immune system
(3)clearing certain organisms or bacteria from the blood
(4) producing red blood cells in some conditions

Enlargement of the spleen may or may not be significant.

I hope this information is helpful and everything works out for you.
Feel free to ask any other questions

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