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What causes high WBC count?

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Dr. Shailja Puri

Pathologist and Microbiologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 7143 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 7 Aug 2014 in Blood Disorders
Question: My wbc count has been high and fluctuating for 5 years. It has gone down all the way to 11 or 12 k and as high as 15,200 just yesterday. Should I be concerned?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
DLC is required to know the cause of elevated TLC.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting our query on HealthcareMagic.

The normal range for white blood cell (WBC) counts is between 4000-11,000 per cubic millimeter.
Elevation of WBC count is caused by increase in any one of the white blood cells- neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophila and eosinophils.
Thus, a differential count is necessary to determine the cause of elevated white blood cell count.
Kidnly, post your differential leukocyte count (DLC) to know the cause of elevated white blood cell counts.

Dr Shailja P Wahal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Ashwin Bhandari
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shailja Puri 24 minutes later
I dont have my most recent labs in front of me they were taken yesterday but this is the one before it.

Total wbc: 13.4

abs neutrophils : 9460

abs lymphocytes : 2693

abs monocytes : 1018

abs eosinophils: 161

abs basophils: 67

neutrophils: 70.6%

lymphocytes: 20.1

reactive lymphocytes : 0%

monocytes : 7.6%

eosinophils : 1.2%

basophils: 0.5%

I dont want to color your decision but for background I have had multiple joint injuries in my past and I have multiple joint related surgeries. I am also a power lifter and I eat a high protein diet and lift weights 4-5 times a week. Other than the WBC Im asymptomatic.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Neutrophils elevated, infectious cause suggested.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome again,
The TLC and DLC suggest that the absolute numbers of neutrophils are elevated.
Neutrophils are elevated in infections especially bacterial infections.
There is some focus of infection in your body which has lead to elevated neutrophil counts.
A previous history of multiple surgeries may be the cause.
Infection of the surgical wounds can lead to elevation of neutrophils and thus TLC.

Kindly, consult your treating surgeon for clinical assessment.
Infection can be controlled by appropriate antibiotics.

If you have more queries, I will be glad to answer.
Dr Shailja P Wahal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Ashwin Bhandari
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shailja Puri 8 minutes later
The last surgery I had was in 2009. I do not believe that I ever had an infection at a surgical site but I m pretty sure that I do have ortho arthritis and I was wondering if that could be the reason? Overall Im worried that it might be heart disease since i have had that in my family and Im a larger man? is that possible ?
and lastly is a number like 15,200 a need for concern? I have seen people on line state they have 2 - 3-4-6 times that number?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Clinical assessment of CVS required.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome again,

Surgery in 2009 will definitely not cause infection now.
Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition and it can be a cause of elevated TLC and elevated neutrophil counts.
However, consult your primary healthcare provider for clinical assessment.
Anti-inflammatory drugs may be required to arrest the inflammatory process.

A heart disease can be ruled out or diagnosed by cardiovascular system (CVS) examination.
Consult a cardiologist for assessment of the cardiovascular system.
It includes ECG, echocardiography. TMT and angiography if required.

Thanks and take care
Dr Shailja P Wahal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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