White blood cellsFrom Latin globulus, blood cell it’s a small spherical body. The term is the diminutive of balloon and is usually used to name the cells that make up the blood. It can be distinguished, in this sense, between white blood cells and Red blood cells.

The white blood cells or leukocytes Are the blood cells who are in charge of carrying out the immune response, acting in the defense of the organism against antigens and foreign substances. The leukocytes, together with the red blood cells and platelets, form the set of the formed elements of the blood.

The origin of white blood cells is in the bone marrow and in the lymphatic tissue. Lacking pigments, they are classified as “Whites” to differentiate them from red blood cells.

A leukocyte is a mobile cell between 8 and 20 microns, which travels through pseudopods. Presents nucleus, mitochondria and other cellular organelles, and can leave the blood vessels thanks to a mechanism known as diapedesis that allows it to prolong its cytoplasmic content.

According to the shape of the nucleus, white blood cells can be divided into lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, basophils or eosinophils. According to the staining characteristics, on the other hand, one can speak of granulocytes, agranulocytes, neutrophils or basophils.

It is possible to record alterations in the size, shape and function of white blood cells. These disorders are caused by diseases hereditary, infections, reactions against a drug or anemia, for example. The leukocytosis is the increase in the number of white blood cells, while the decrease is called leukopenia.


White blood cellsWhen the number of white blood cells is greater than 11 thousand per cubic millimeter, we speak of leukocytosis. This disorder may be due to excessive growth of the population of neutrophils (which should occupy between 54% and 62% of the total leukocytes), lymphocytes (whose normal percentage is between 25% and 33%) or monocytes (which cannot exceed 7%).

On the other hand, it is not normal for leukocytosis to originate from an increase in basophils and eosinophils, since this should be considerable. Similarly, all cell lines do not tend to increase contemporaneously in normal situations.

In order for doctors to diagnose the origin of leukocytosis, it is necessary to study the distribution of the various types of white blood cells; generally based on this information They may indicate a treatment prior to the completion of the complementary tests, which can be extended in terms of up to several days to finally give the specific result.

Unusual growth of the value Absolute white blood cell counts can occur for a number of reasons, including the following:

* infections;
* acute abdomen (severe condition characterized by symptoms in the abdominal area, related to some disease of the intra-abdominal organs);
* obstructions in the intestine;
* alterations in the liver;
* fatigue due to excessive exercise, which can produce a sudden and sustained release of adrenaline, for example;
* stress, which can also cause leukopenia (decrease in white blood cells below 3 thousand per cubic millimeter);
* pregnancy, in which case lymphocytes decrease;
* digestive problems.

To regain the normal number of white blood cells, a treatment, since they usually work on the cause of leukocytosis. When the origin is an infection, for example, it is enough that it disappears for the values ​​to return to normal. In serious cases such as bone marrow disorders, the solution is usually a transplant, chemotherapy, and blood transfusions. Other treatments include IV fluids, medications, and leukapheresis (drawing blood to remove white blood cells before reinjecting it into the patient).