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What Does An Elevated Lymphocyte Count Mean

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What Does An Elevated Lymphocyte Count Mean

When you go through a blood test, you may sometimes hear that you have elevated lymphocyte count. It is a common condition after a disease or illness, but it can be a serious problem if it persists. Here at, we are going to tell you what an elevated lymphocyte count means.

You may also be interested in: What Does a Low Neutrophil count mean

What does it mean?

Lymphocytes are white blood cells in our body and have a very important role to play in our immune system. These help you in fighting against diseases, and remain protected and healthy. If you have recently gone through an infection, disease or illness, then it is common for your body to have higher lymphocyte count, also known as lymphocytosis. Most commonly, it means that you have a viral infection, but sometimes, it may also mean an autoimmune disorder or a certain form of cancer.

How much count is considered as ‘high’?

If you are an adult, and have more than 3000 lymphocytes (<40%) in one micro-liter of blood, then the doctor may say that you have elevated lymphocyte count, or lymphocytosis. You can also check in detail what is the normal range of lymphocyte count.

In children, this threshold may vary with age, but can be as high as 7000 to 9000 lymphocytes in one micro-liter of blood. The exact measurements may even vary from one laboratory to the other.

How to diagnose elevated lymphocyte count

Usually, the person having high lymphocyte count, a condition medically termed as Lymphocytosis, shows no physical symptoms. This means that you will never know about it unless you go through a blood test for another reason, and your doctor identifies it alongside. There is no treatment for the condition as well, and it can be managed only by handling the underlying cause.

How to diagnose elevated lymphocyte count

What causes high lymphocyte count?

If you have been diagnosed with elevated lymphocyte count you should know that there are two types of lymphocytosis: monoclonal and polyclonal, and both have different causes.

Causes of monoclonal, or primary, lymphocytosis

Monoclonal lymphocytosis is a proliferative condition where the number of lymphocytes increases as the result of a lymphoid-related disorder. It is caused by:

  • Lymphoid tumours
  • Prolymphocytic leukaemia (PLL)
  • Hairy cell leukaemia (HCL)
  • Lymphomas with leukaemic expression
  • Large granular lymphocytic leukaemia
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Leukaemia is a type of blood cancer in which the bone marrow is replaced by the early forms of white blood cells. ALL is a type of leukaemia where large numbers of immature, underdeveloped white blood cells, known as blasts, are produced in the bone marrow. Lymphoblasts, which are immature lymphocytes, are a type of blast present in cases of ALL. CLL is a type of leukaemia that is characterised by the presence of an excess amount of mature lymphocytes. It is the most common type of leukaemia in adults, particularly in the elderly and predominantly affecting males more than females. The most common signs and symptoms are the swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and weight loss.

Causes of polyclonal, or reactive, lymphocytosis

Polyclonal lymphocytosis occurs ahead of an inflammatory or infectious process. It can be caused by:

o Viral infections:

o Bacterial infections:

  • toxoplasmosis
  • tuberculosis
  • brucellosis

o Poisoning from certain substances, such as lead, benzene etc.; metabolic disorders, such as diabetic or uremic acidosis; and certain vitamin B12 treatments.

o Acute causes:

  • septic shock
  • acute heart failure
  • surgery
  • drug addiction
  • transfusions

o Chronic causes:

  • smoking
  • removal of the spleen (splenectomy)
  • autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and vasculitis.

if you do have a high lymphocyte count that is due to a bacterial or viral infection, take a look at our article on how to lower high lymphocytes.

When to contact a doctor

Elevated lymphocyte count is found mostly when you are already experiencing a condition, and your doctor has ordered a test to diagnose it. This means that in most cases, lymphocytosis is discovered by chance, and is usually an unexpected detection. When you have your tests in your hand, talk to your doctor about the possible causes and consequences, and discuss the best treatment procedure for your condition.

This article is merely informative, OneHowTo does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Does An Elevated Lymphocyte Count Mean, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

Comments (12)

Write a comment on What Does An Elevated Lymphocyte Count Mean

Very useful
anurag sharma
Your rating:
my lymbhocytes is 51 ,monocyctes is 01.mchc is 32.5,it.i am using foracort 400 doc.rx for 3 month & antiallergic will be ok or not i dont wnt to habituatd mdcn plz suggest about my health of report how can i healty properly now i feel some tiredness if i walk 200 mtrs
Your rating:
My son is 4yrs 6mths
Pav 35%
W B C 10400
Neutrophil 20%
lymphocytes 77%
monocyte 0.3%
eosinophil nil
Basophils nil
Your rating:
male 33ys.
43.7neutrophils,43.74 lymphocytes
4.83eosinophils,7.71monocytes mean?
OneHowTo Editor
It is not a very high count, so there's no need to worry if you're recovering from a disease or surgery. If it keeps increasing you may want to discuss the results with your doctor.
Hope this helps
Your rating:
My son is 3 years 4 month old
Hemoglobin : 8.0 (14-18) Men G/dl
Blood test result:
Neutrophils : 31% (40-75%)
Lymphocytea : 65% (20-50%)
Eosinophils : 02% (01-06%)
Monocytes : 02% (06-10%)
Other :PCV:26.1 MCV :61
Bilirubin Total 0.57 mg/dl ( 0-1.0)
Bilirubin direct 0.11 mg/dl (0-0.3)
Bilirubin Indirect 0.46 mg/dl (-)
Kindly tell me is this report okay or not
If not ok than what should i do
Waiting for ur reply
OneHowTo Editor
As we've mentioned in this article, the amount of lymphocytes in children can double and even treble the amount adults have without having to worry, so the best thing to do is to discuss the results with the doctor. However, at a first glance there should be no need to worry.
Hope this helps
Your rating:
I was recently hospitalized for severe uncontrolled hypertension - in my routine blood test the following was found - but never addressed by my doctor . Should i be concerned and get with them for further testing?

BUN 25 mg/dL
GFR 59 mL/min
MCHC 33.6 g/dL
ANION GAP 17 mmol/L

I was also diagnosed with lucent/lytic bone lesions of the C2/C3 following an auto accident - do these numbers mean i am at risk of myeloma?
OneHowTo Editor
Dear Cynthia,
Your blood test results seem to be fine and within near normal ranges. If you are concerned, it's best you talk to your doctor about the results.
Hope this helps
Dear Editor:
So the fact neutrophils are low at 39% & lymphcytes are high at 49% - these are within normal range? how do you figure that?

normal range 48-77 %
normal range 14-40 %
Your rating:
Is a Lymphocytes 43.7 high and WBC of 6-15 high also.
madhu singh
Your rating:
lymphocyte is 12.3. what disease i have
Matthew Nesbitt
If you mean that your lymphocyte count is 12.3% of your total leukocytes, this is lower than the normal average of 20-40%, but it would be difficult to say if you had anything specific. We suggest speaking to a doctor and seeing what they would think.
D siriwardena
Your rating:
Very useful information
Your rating:
sir last year I was affected by Jaundic e hepatitis A.I took bed rest for 3 weeks in Mangalore. after I was bilirubin count was I have very itching in my head and body.even I have taken use.iwent for bloodtest and my lymphocytes count was 44percent and eosinophilis count was 10 percent. but my total bilirubin in serum was 0.29 mg/dl.ALT (SGPT ON SERUM ) WAS 51 U/L.what does it mean?
Your rating:
My lymphocyte count is 50%

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What Does An Elevated Lymphocyte Count Mean