By Mayo Clinic Staff. A high white blood cell count usually indicates: An increased production of white blood cells to fight an infection. A reaction to a drug that increases white blood cell production. A disease of bone marrow, causing abnormally high production of white blood cells.
What happen if white blood cells are high?
A high white blood cell count may indicate that the immune system is working to destroy an infection. It may also be a sign of physical or emotional stress. People with particular blood cancers may also have high white blood cells counts.
Is it dangerous if white blood cells are high?
White blood cell counts that are too high or too low may be dangerous, depending on the cause. Infection can cause spikes, as well as blood cancers and other conditions. White blood cells (leukocytes) make up about 1% of our blood and they help protect the body against illness and disease.
What is a dangerous white blood cell count?
In general, for adults a count of more than 11,000 white blood cells (leukocytes) in a microliter of blood is considered a high white blood cell count.
Is a high white blood cell count a sign of cancer?
While having an elevated or abnormally high white blood cell count does not necessarily indicate leukemia, the source of the condition will need to be identified if it is found to exceed the levels and duration of a normal immune response to an infection.
When should I be worried about high WBC?
A high white blood cell count isn’t a specific disease in itself, but it can indicate an underlying problem, such as infection, stress, inflammation, trauma, allergy, or certain diseases. That’s why a high white blood cell count usually requires further investigation.
What diseases cause high white blood cell count?
The following conditions can cause white blood cell counts to be high:
- Viral or bacterial infection.
- Excessive physical or emotional stress (such as fever, injury, or surgery)
- Immune system disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Thyroid problems.
How high is too high white blood cell count?
Though it varies between individuals, a high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) is usually considered to be anything above 11,000 cells per μl of blood in an adult.
What is an alarming white blood cell count?
Normally you have between 4,000 and 11,000 WBCs per microliter of blood if you aren’t pregnant. Anything higher is considered leukocytosis. WBC counts between 50,000 and 100,000 per microliter usually mean a very severe infection or cancer somewhere in the body.
What is a concerning white blood cell count?
How many white blood cells (WBCs) someone has varies, but the normal range is usually between 4,000 and 11,000 per microliter of blood. A blood test that shows a WBC count of less than 4,000 per microliter (some labs say less than 4,500) could mean your body may not be able to fight infection the way it should.
What kind of doctor treats high white blood cells?
WBC disorders are usually treated by hematologists who specialize in blood disorders or immunologists who specialize in disorders of the immune system. Since white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, a bone marrow biopsy might be needed to complete the workup.
Can colon cancer cause high white blood cells?
The higher incidence risk associated with an increased WBC was also seen for colon cancer in women (highest versus lowest quartile: HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.20-1.78, p for trend = 0.0003) (Table 6).
What medications can cause a high white blood cell count?
Drugs that may increase WBC counts include epinephrine, allopurinol, aspirin, chloroform, heparin, quinine, corticosteroids, and triamterene.