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What is the cause and treatment for an elevated TLC?

Q: My TLC count is 50; i.e. 20% higher than the maximum limit of 10-40. Is it due to some infection in blood? What are the causes, affects and treatment? I am an asthma patient.

A:The normal total leukocyte count varies with the age of a person. It also has a diurnal cycle i.e. counts vary during a 24 hour day. Normally they range from 4000 to 10,000 per mcl in an adult. The counts may go up due to an increase in any component of the white cells i.e neutrophils (called neutrophilia), lymphocytes (called lymphocytosis), monocytes (called monocytosis), eosinophils (called eosinophilia) or basophils (called basophilia). This can be judged by a differential leukocyte count. The range of each of theses cells also varies with the age of an individual. There are numerous causes for increases in neutrophils, lymphocytes etc. If you are suffering from an obstructive lung disease, it is likely that the counts are high due to an infection/allergy and are likely due to neutrophilia &/or eosinophilia). Your peripheral smear report will be able to clarify.

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