Why is there a variation in my WBC count?
Q: Two years back I did a routine blood check and found that the WBC count was 7500 (the reference range was 4000-11500). I did a blood check again this week but found that my WBC count was 5800 (here the reference range was 4-10000.) But the differential figures, percentage wise remains exactly the same. Is there anything wrong, which I should be concerned about? Please advise.
A:The white blood cell (WBC) count comprises the total leukocyte count (TLC) & differential leukocyte count (DLC), both of which together indicate the number and percentage of various white blood cells in blood. This test is often ordered as a part of the complete blood count (CBC) and provides a clue to the presence of illness. The white cells have a protective and immune function and fight against different pathogens, cancers etc. The biological reference interval for TLC and DLC depends on factors like patient age, sex, sample population and method of testing. An increase in their number (leukocytosis) or a decrease (leukopaenia) may result from a wide variety of causes. The counts show a diurnal variation being lower in the morning and higher in the afternoon, are higher in infants and children and can increase with stress, physical activity, eating, pregnancy etc. It is important to view a test result in the light of the clinical profile, as isolated result can often be un-interpretable. Your counts are normal and please discuss with your doctor why the test was ordered.