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What is it?
White blood cells (WBC) are a vital part of our immune system. Eosinophils are one of five types of WBCs found in the human body; all are produced by the bone marrow. Eosinophils account for less than 7% of all circulating white blood cells and have two distinct functions: they destroy invading germs and create an inflammatory response, particularly if an allergy is involved. A healthcare professional may recommend an eosinophil count if you’ve already had a blood differential test and the results were abnormal. Specifically, an eosinophil count may be useful in the diagnoses of the following:
-An allergic reaction
-Infection by a parasite
-Cushing’s disease (a disorder caused by too much of the steroid hormone cortisol).
0 - 0.4 cells/mcL
0 - 0.4 abs
0 - 0.4 x10^9/L
What are low values associated with?
A low number of eosinophils do not usually cause problems as other parts of the immune system can compensate adequately. It may be caused by:
-Bloodstream infection (sepsis)
-Treatment with corticosteroids
What are high values associated with?
Eosinophilia (an unusually high number of eosinophils in the blood) is linked to a variety of disorders, including:
-Cancers of the blood, such as Leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma
There are some medications known to cause an increase in eosinophil count, including:
-Laxatives that contain psyllium
-Interferon, a drug used to treat infection