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What is it?
Lymphocytes are cells that work in our immune system and thus belong to the white blood cell family. Lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils levels are assessed through a blood differential test (also called a white blood cell differential), as a part of a complete blood count. This test can detect abnormal or immature cells and can diagnose an infection, leukemia, or an immune disorder. A healthcare professional may order a blood differential when someone has general signs and symptoms of infection and/or inflammation, such as:
-Body aches, pains
So called because they are the primary type of cell found in lymph, lymphocytes have three major types: T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells. Together, lymphocytes are the major component of our body’s adaptive immune response and usually account for approximately 20-40% of the total white blood cells circulating at a given time. They act by identifying foreign objects, like bacteria and viruses, and generating a specific response that is tailored to maximally eliminate the invader.
1.5 - 3.5 cells/mcL
0.0015 - 0.0035 cells/uL
What are low values associated with?
Known as lymphocytopenia, decreased lymphocyte levels may indicate:
-An autoimmune disorder like lupus
-Bone marrow damage (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation treatment)
-An infection like HIV or hepatitis
- A severe infection, such as sepsis, which is wiping out white blood cells
faster than the body an make them
What are high values associated with?
Known as lymphocytosis, elevated lymphocyte levels may indicate:
-A chronic bacterial infection
-Acute viral infection
-Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow
-Lymphoma, a white blood cell cancer that originates in the lymph nodes