What is the function of WBC 1

What is the WBC blood count? Low and high values

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Meaning of the WBC value

The white blood cells called leukocytes hide behind the name WBC. Thus the abbreviated form stands for "White Bloodcells".

With the help of the blood value, doctors determine the concentration of the total amount of white blood cells in the course of a blood sample. In some cases, the WBC blood count is too low. Here the patients suffer from leukopenia.

The WBC blood count in the summary

The WBC value includes the different types of white blood cells. Accordingly, the doctor uses the blood value to determine the amount of lymphocytes, granulocytes and monocytes contained in the blood. If the WBC value is too low, the doctor diagnoses leukopenia in the patient being examined. The number of white blood cells decreases, mainly after a viral infection.

When is the WBC value too low?

The concentration of leukocytes in the blood is very important for the proper functioning of the body's immune system. If there are too few white blood cells in the bloodstream, doctors refer to the condition as leukopenia. In this case, the amount of the three types of leukocytes, which are presented in the following form, decreases:

  • Monocytes,
  • Granulocytes,
  • Lymphocytes.

With the help of a differential blood count, the doctor has the opportunity to control the respective reduction in cells. In leukopenia, there is predominantly a reduction in the granulocytes known as scavenger cells. As a rule, the WBC value is too low if the person concerned is suffering from a viral infection.

This leads to an overproduction of white blood cells during the illness. In the increasing intensity, the organism does not succeed in maintaining the formation of leukocytes. Therefore, over time, there is a reduced production of white blood cells. This leads to short-term leukopenia. As soon as patients recover from the viral infection, the production of white blood cells normalizes.

Why is the number of white blood cells falling?

If those affected suffer from leukopenia, there is a risk of a weakened immune system. Doctors already speak of an incipient undersupply of white blood cells when the leukocyte count is below 3,000 in one microliter of blood. Medicines, which are mainly used for cancer diseases, may exacerbate the leukopenia.

For example, the website pharma-zeitung.de published the results of a study published in 2019 on the drug Vidaza®. This is used in the treatment of leukemia, but led to a reduced production of white blood cells in 48 percent of the study participants.

Furthermore, a low leukocyte value results from a disease of the bone marrow, which is responsible for the formation of the relevant cells. If doctors notice a decreased concentration of white blood cells during a blood test on a patient, they consider an overactive spleen. This leads to a higher consumption of the leukocytes, so that their number decreases over time.

The same happens when there are numerous pathogens in the bloodstream. Due to the increased penetration of viruses, bacteria, fungi or worms, the body needs more leukocytes to eliminate the foreign bodies. The overproduction is followed by the reduced production of white blood cells, since the organism lacks power reserves. For this reason, there is a risk of a secondary infection shortly after an illness.

As a medical editor, he has been providing information on medical issues in this project since 2012. This article corresponds to the current state of medical knowledge and current medical specialist literature.