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The Problem


Why Should I Care

Do you need to undergo regular blood tests? This might be necessary if you have diabetes, certain types of cancer, or simply want to monitor your health to understand any changes and trends. Additionally, if you switch doctors, you may want to quickly update them about your blood health status.

Background


Thrombocytes, Hemoglobin Are Hieroglyphs To You?

Blood anticoagulants are substances or medications that prevent or inhibit blood clot formation, also known as coagulation. They play a crucial role in maintaining proper blood flow and preventing the formation of unwanted blood clots. Anticoagulants are used in various clinical settings to manage and prevent conditions associated with abnormal clotting.

Anticoagulants work through different mechanisms to interfere with the coagulation process. They may target specific factors or enzymes involved in clot formation or inhibit platelet aggregation, ultimately preventing the formation of stable blood clots.

The importance of blood anticoagulants includes:

  • Prevention of Thrombosis: Anticoagulants are used to prevent the formation of blood clots in various situations, such as in individuals with a history of thromboembolic events or those at high risk for developing clots, such as during surgery or prolonged immobility.
  • Treatment of Thromboembolic Disorders: Anticoagulants are commonly used to treat conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and atrial fibrillation, where the risk of clot formation and subsequent complications is high.
  • Management of Cardiovascular Diseases: Anticoagulants play a role in managing certain cardiovascular conditions, including heart valve disorders, arterial thrombosis, and coronary artery disease.
  • Use in Medical Procedures: Anticoagulants are employed during procedures like hemodialysis, cardiac surgeries, and certain interventions to prevent clot formation.
  • Prevention of Stroke: Anticoagulants, particularly those targeting specific clotting factors, are utilized in the prevention of stroke in individuals with atrial fibrillation or other high-risk conditions.

Upper and Lower Limits:

The effectiveness and safety of anticoagulants are monitored through a blood test called the International Normalized Ratio (INR). The INR is a standardized measurement used to determine the time it takes for a patient's blood to clot compared to a control sample. The target INR range can vary based on the specific condition being treated and the type of anticoagulant used. In general, the therapeutic range for INR is typically between 2.0 and 3.0, but it can be higher for certain conditions or lower for others.

Most Common Unit:

The most common unit used to measure the effectiveness of anticoagulants is the International Normalized Ratio (INR).

Interpreting INR Values:

  • Below Target Range (INR < 2.0): This indicates that the blood is clotting too quickly, which can increase the risk of thrombosis (clot formation).
  • Within Target Range (INR 2.0 - 3.0): This is the typical therapeutic range for many anticoagulant therapies and indicates that the blood is clotting at an appropriate rate, reducing the risk of clot formation.
  • Above Target Range (INR > 3.0): An INR above the target range suggests that the blood is clotting too slowly, which can increase the risk of bleeding complications.

The specific target INR range and the interpretation of values can vary based on the individual patient, their underlying condition, and the type of anticoagulant used.

Sources of information

  • Weitz JI, Fredenburgh JC. Anticoagulant Drugs. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, et al., editors. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th edition. Elsevier; 2018.
  • Hirsh J, Raschke R. Heparin and Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin: The Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy. Chest. 2004;126(3 Suppl):188S-203S.
  • Douketis JD, Crowther MA, Foster GA, Ginsberg JS. Does the INR value and the level of anticoagulation influence the clinical outcome of patients treated with heparin? Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(12):1612-1617.

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Basophils are a type of white blood cell involved in the immune response, specifically in allergic reactions and defense against parasites. In blood work, basophils are abbreviated as BASO or BAS in blood count reports, and their unit of measurement is typically reported as a percentage of the total white blood cell count.

In a healthy individual, basophils constitute a small fraction of the total white blood cell count, usually ranging from 0.5% to 1% of the total white blood cells. They are usually reported as a percentage. The absolute basophil count is usually measured in cells per microliter (cells/μL). A normal range for the absolute basophil count is around 20 to 300 cells/μL.

Low basophil values, known as basopenia, are not typically considered clinically significant. They are generally not associated with specific health conditions and are usually inconsequential.

High basophil counts, known as basophilia, can occur due to several factors, including:

  • Allergic reactions, such as asthma or hay fever.
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions, like ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia or other myeloproliferative disorders.
  • Hypothyroidism or certain other endocrine disorders.

Sources of information

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Blood plasma is the yellowish fluid component of blood that constitutes approximately 55% of the total blood volume. It is the liquid in which blood cells, platelets, and various substances are suspended. Plasma is crucial for the transportation of nutrients, hormones, antibodies, waste products, and other important components throughout the body.

Blood plasma consists mainly of water, electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and chloride), proteins (including albumin, globulins, and fibrinogen), hormones, enzymes, antibodies, nutrients, and waste products. It serves several crucial functions:

  • Transportation: Plasma acts as a medium for carrying cells, nutrients, hormones, and waste products throughout the body.
  • Immune Response: It contains antibodies and immune system components that help defend against infections and diseases.
  • Regulation of Fluid Balance: Plasma helps maintain the balance of fluids, electrolytes, and pH in the body.
  • Blood Clotting: Plasma contains clotting factors that are essential for the coagulation process to prevent excessive bleeding.
  • Regulation of Blood Pressure: The proteins in plasma play a role in maintaining the osmotic pressure and fluid balance necessary for blood pressure regulation.

Sources of information

  • Becker KL. Principles and Practice of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 3rd edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.
  • Hoffbrand AV, Moss PAH, Pettit JE. Essential Haematology. 7th edition. Wiley-Blackwell; 2015.

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Blood types refer to the classification of blood based on the presence or absence of specific antigens on the surface of red blood cells. The most well-known blood typing system is the ABO system, which categorizes blood into four major types: A, B, AB, and O. Additionally, the Rh factor (positive or negative) is another crucial component of blood typing.

Blood types are determined by inherited genetic traits. The presence or absence of specific antigens on red blood cells leads to the categorization of blood types. The ABO system is based on the presence or absence of A and B antigens, while the Rh system focuses on the presence or absence of the Rh antigen.

Blood type is important for several reasons:

  • Blood Transfusions: Matching blood types between donors and recipients is vital to ensure compatibility and avoid adverse reactions, such as hemolysis or agglutination.
  • Pregnancy and Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn: Incompatibility between the mother's and fetus's blood types, particularly in Rh-negative mothers carrying Rh-positive fetuses, can lead to the development of antibodies that may affect subsequent pregnancies.
  • Organ and Tissue Transplants: Blood type compatibility is considered when determining suitable donors for organ or tissue transplantation to minimize the risk of rejection.
  • Forensic Medicine: Blood typing is utilized in forensic investigations to determine potential matches between blood samples found at crime scenes and suspects.
  • Anthropology and Genetics: Blood typing plays a role in understanding human populations, migration patterns, and the inheritance of blood type traits.

Sources of information

  • Dean L. Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens. National Center for Biotechnology Information (US); 2005.

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Blood coagulation, also known as blood clotting or hemostasis, is a complex physiological process that plays a vital role in preventing excessive bleeding and maintaining the integrity of the circulatory system. It involves a series of well-coordinated steps leading to the formation of a clot at the site of vascular injury.

When a blood vessel is damaged, the process of coagulation is initiated through two main pathways: the intrinsic pathway and the extrinsic pathway. These pathways involve the activation of specific factors and the conversion of proenzymes into enzymes, ultimately leading to the formation of a stable blood clot.

Blood coagulation is important for several reasons:

  • Preventing Excessive Bleeding: Coagulation helps seal off the damaged blood vessel, preventing excessive blood loss and promoting wound healing.
  • Maintaining Blood Vessel Integrity: The formation of a clot helps to maintain the integrity of blood vessels, preventing the leakage of blood into surrounding tissues.
  • Providing a Scaffold for Tissue Repair: The clot forms a temporary scaffold that supports the migration and proliferation of cells involved in tissue repair.
  • Trapping Pathogens: Blood clots can also trap and localize infectious agents, preventing their spread throughout the body.
  • Regulating Clot Formation: The coagulation process is tightly regulated to ensure clot formation occurs only when needed, preventing the formation of clots in healthy blood vessels.

Normal Ranges:

The normal range for blood coagulation tests can vary depending on the specific test being performed. Common coagulation tests include prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). For PT, the typical reference range is around 11-13 seconds, while for aPTT, it is approximately 30-40 seconds. These values may vary between different laboratories and should be interpreted in the context of the clinical situation.

Abnormal Values:

  • Prolonged PT: A prolonged PT can indicate a deficiency in certain coagulation factors, such as those involved in the extrinsic coagulation pathway. This may increase the risk of bleeding and can be seen in conditions like liver disease or vitamin K deficiency.
  • Prolonged aPTT: A prolonged aPTT may suggest a deficiency in factors of the intrinsic coagulation pathway and can be associated with bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia.
  • Shortened Coagulation Times: Shortened coagulation times may indicate a prothrombotic state, where there is an increased risk of blood clot formation. This can be seen in conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or factor V Leiden mutation.

Note:

The interpretation of coagulation test results should always be done in consultation with a healthcare provider, as multiple factors can influence coagulation status, and additional tests may be necessary for a comprehensive assessment.

Sources of information

  • Hoffman M, Monroe DM 3rd. Coagulation 2006: a modern view of hemostasis. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2006;2006(1):1-4.

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A complete blood count (CBC) is a common laboratory test that provides valuable information about the cellular components of blood. It involves the measurement of various blood cell types and other parameters, offering insights into overall health and potential underlying conditions.

A CBC typically includes the following measurements:

  • Red Blood Cell Count (RBC): This measures the number of red blood cells per volume of blood. The normal range for RBCs is around 4.5 to 6.0 million cells per microliter (µL) for men and 4.0 to 5.5 million/µL for women.
  • Hemoglobin (Hb): Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The normal range for hemoglobin is approximately 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL) for men and 12.0 to 15.5 g/dL for women.
  • Hematocrit (Hct): This is the percentage of blood volume occupied by red blood cells. The normal range for hematocrit is about 38.3% to 48.6% for men and 35.5% to 44.9% for women.
  • White Blood Cell Count (WBC): This measures the total number of white blood cells, which are critical for the immune system. The normal range for WBCs is typically 4,000 to 11,000/µL.
  • Platelet Count: Platelets are important for blood clotting. The normal range for platelet counts is approximately 150,000 to 450,000/µL.

A CBC is important for several reasons:

  • Diagnostic Tool: It serves as an initial screening test to evaluate overall blood health and detect various blood-related disorders, such as anemia, infections, or leukemia.
  • Monitoring Treatment: CBCs can help assess the effectiveness of treatments like chemotherapy or blood transfusions, aiding in disease management.
  • Health Checkup: Routine CBCs are often performed during regular checkups to evaluate an individual's overall health status.
  • Preoperative Assessment: Prior to surgery, a CBC can identify any underlying blood disorders or conditions that may affect the surgical procedure or postoperative care.
  • Follow-up Tool: CBCs may be repeated over time to monitor disease progression, response to treatment, or recovery from illness.

Sources of information

  • Greer JP, Foerster J, Rodgers GM, et al. Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology. 13th edition. Wolters Kluwer; 2013.
  • Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop H, Weitz JI, Anastasi J. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th edition. Elsevier; 2018.
  • Buttarello M. Laboratory diagnosis of anemia: are the old and new red cell parameters useful in classification and treatment, how? Int J Lab Hematol. 2016;38 Suppl 1:123-32.

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Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell involved in the immune response against parasites and in allergic reactions. In blood work, eosinophils are often abbreviated as EOS or EO in blood count reports, and their unit of measurement is typically reported as a percentage of the total white blood cell count.

Eosinophil levels are typically measured as a percentage of total white blood cells in a complete blood count (CBC) or as an absolute count in cells per microliter (µL) of blood. The normal reference range for eosinophils is approximately 0.0% to 4.0% of the total white blood cell count or 0 to 450 eosinophils per µL.

Low eosinophil values, known as eosinopenia, are generally not considered significant and are not associated with specific health conditions.

High eosinophil counts, known as eosinophilia, can occur due to several factors, including:

  • Allergic reactions, such as asthma or hay fever.
  • Parasitic infections, like intestinal parasites or certain helminth infections.
  • Autoimmune disorders, including eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Churg-Strauss syndrome) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Certain types of cancers, such as Hodgkin's lymphoma or eosinophilic leukemia.

Sources of information

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Erythroid cells, also known as red blood cells (RBCs), are specialized cells in the bloodstream responsible for transporting oxygen to tissues and organs throughout the body. In blood work, erythroid cells are often abbreviated as RBC, and their unit of measurement is typically reported as the number of cells per microliter (10^6/μL) or as a concentration in grams per deciliter (g/dL).

The normal range for erythroid cell counts and hemoglobin levels in adults can vary slightly, but generally, the reference ranges are:

  • Erythroid cell count: Typically between 4.5 and 5.5 million cells per microliter (4.5 - 5.5 x 10^6/μL).
  • Hemoglobin level: Usually between 12 and 16 grams per deciliter (12 - 16 g/dL) for females and 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (13.5 - 17.5 g/dL) for males.

Low erythroid cell counts or hemoglobin levels, known as anemia, can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Iron deficiency, which may be due to inadequate dietary intake, chronic blood loss, or poor iron absorption.
  • Vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamin B12 or folate.
  • Chronic diseases, such as kidney disease or autoimmune disorders.
  • Bone marrow disorders, like aplastic anemia or myelodysplastic syndromes.

High erythroid cell counts or hemoglobin levels can be observed in conditions such as:

  • Polycythemia vera, a rare blood disorder characterized by the overproduction of red blood cells.
  • Chronic lung diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congenital heart defects.
  • Living at high altitudes where there is reduced oxygen availability.
  • Dehydration, leading to a relative increase in the concentration of red blood cells.

Sources of information

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Hematocrit is a measure of the volume of red blood cells (RBCs) in relation to the total volume of blood. It is expressed as a percentage and represents the proportion of blood occupied by RBCs.

Hematocrit is determined by separating the cellular components (primarily RBCs) from the liquid component (plasma) of blood. It is obtained by centrifuging a blood sample and measuring the height of the RBC layer compared to the total height of the blood sample.

Hematocrit is important for several reasons:

  • Blood Oxygen-Carrying Capacity: Hematocrit provides an estimation of the blood's capacity to carry oxygen since RBCs contain hemoglobin, which binds and transports oxygen to tissues and organs.
  • Assessment of Anemia: Hematocrit values below the normal range may indicate anemia, a condition characterized by a decreased number of RBCs or reduced hemoglobin levels.
  • Monitoring Blood Disorders: Hematocrit levels can be used to monitor the progression and treatment of various blood disorders, such as polycythemia (abnormally high RBC count) or certain bone marrow disorders.
  • Evaluation of Fluid Balance: Changes in hematocrit may indicate alterations in blood volume, such as dehydration (which leads to a higher hematocrit) or fluid overload (which results in a lower hematocrit).
  • Assessing Blood Disorders: Hematocrit values, along with other blood cell indices, can provide insight into the presence of specific blood disorders and help guide further diagnostic investigations.

Measurement and Interpretation:

  • Upper Limit: The upper limit of the normal range for adult men is typically around 52%, while for adult women, it's around 47%. Values above this range may indicate polycythemia or dehydration.
  • Lower Limit: The lower limit of the normal range is around 38% for adult men and 36% for adult women. Values below this range may suggest anemia or overhydration.

Most Common Unit: Hematocrit is most commonly expressed as a percentage (%) of the total blood volume.

Abnormal values, whether high or low, often require further investigation and may be indicative of underlying medical conditions or imbalances in blood composition.

Sources of information

  • Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 9th edition. Elsevier; 2014.
  • McPherson, R., & Pincus, M. (2017). Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. Elsevier.
  • Hematocrit." StatPearls. 2021.

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Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells (erythrocytes) that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to various tissues and organs in the body. It is an essential component of the circulatory system and plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and vitality.

Hemoglobin molecules are composed of four protein chains called globins, each of which is bound to a heme group. The heme group contains iron, which enables hemoglobin to bind and carry oxygen molecules. When oxygen-rich blood reaches the capillaries in the tissues, hemoglobin releases the oxygen, allowing it to be used by cells for various metabolic processes.

The importance of hemoglobin lies in its role in oxygen transport and delivery to body tissues. Some key points about its significance include:

  • Oxygen Transport: Hemoglobin efficiently binds oxygen in the lungs and carries it through the bloodstream to oxygen-deprived tissues, ensuring proper oxygenation and cellular respiration.
  • Tissue Oxygenation: Adequate hemoglobin levels are crucial for providing oxygen to vital organs, such as the brain, heart, and muscles, ensuring their proper function.
  • Acid-Base Balance: Hemoglobin helps maintain the body's acid-base balance by acting as a buffer, preventing excessive changes in blood pH.
  • Carbon Dioxide Transport: Hemoglobin also aids in the removal of carbon dioxide, a waste product of cellular respiration, by binding and transporting it back to the lungs for exhalation.

Measurement and Normal Values:

Hemoglobin is typically measured in grams per deciliter (g/dL) of blood. The normal range can vary slightly depending on factors like age, sex, and health status. However, a general reference range for adults is:

  • Men: 13.8 to 17.2 g/dL
  • Women: 12.1 to 15.1 g/dL

Values outside of this range can have various clinical implications:

  • Low Hemoglobin (Anemia): Hemoglobin levels below the normal range can indicate anemia, a condition characterized by a decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Anemia can result from various factors, including nutritional deficiencies, chronic diseases, and bone marrow disorders.
  • High Hemoglobin (Polycythemia): Elevated hemoglobin levels can be associated with conditions like polycythemia, which involves an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells. This can result from conditions such as chronic hypoxia, kidney disorders, or bone marrow disorders.

Sources of information

  • Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th edition. Garland Science; 2014.

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Leukocytes, commonly known as white blood cells (WBCs), are a crucial component of the immune system and are essential for the body's defense against infections and diseases. They are a diverse group of cells that play various roles in recognizing, attacking, and eliminating pathogens, foreign substances, and abnormal cells.

White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and circulate in the bloodstream and lymphatic system. There are different types of leukocytes, each with its unique functions and characteristics, including:

  • Neutrophils: They are the most abundant type of white blood cell and are the first responders to sites of infection or tissue damage.
  • Lymphocytes: They include T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells, and are involved in specific immune responses, such as antibody production and cell-mediated immunity.
  • Monocytes: They are involved in phagocytosis and can differentiate into macrophages, playing a role in tissue repair and defense against pathogens.
  • Eosinophils: They are important in fighting parasitic infections and have a role in allergic reactions.
  • Basophils: They are involved in allergic responses and release histamine and other mediators.

White blood cells are crucial for several reasons:

  • Defense against Infections: They recognize and destroy pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, helping to prevent and control infections.
  • Immune Responses: White blood cells play a vital role in specific immune responses, including the production of antibodies, memory cells, and coordination of the immune system.
  • Tissue Repair and Inflammation: They contribute to tissue repair, wound healing, and the regulation of inflammation.
  • Surveillance of Abnormal Cells: White blood cells help detect and eliminate abnormal or cancerous cells in the body.
  • Immunological Memory: Some white blood cells retain memory of previous encounters with pathogens, leading to faster and more effective immune responses upon re-exposure.
  • Disease Diagnosis: White blood cell counts and differentials are important diagnostic tools. Abnormal levels or changes in the composition of white blood cells can indicate underlying medical conditions.

Normal Ranges:

White blood cell counts are typically reported in one of two units: cells per microliter (cells/µL) or cells per liter (cells/L). The normal range for white blood cell counts can vary slightly between laboratories, but it's generally around 4,000 to 11,000 cells/µL or 4.0 to 11.0 x 10^9 cells/L.

Interpretation:

  • Low White Blood Cell Count (Leukopenia): This can be caused by conditions such as viral infections, bone marrow disorders, certain medications (e.g., chemotherapy), and autoimmune diseases. It can lead to an increased risk of infections.
  • High White Blood Cell Count (Leukocytosis): This can result from infections, inflammation, stress, certain medications (e.g., corticosteroids), and bone marrow disorders. In some cases, it can indicate leukemia or other blood disorders.

Sources of information

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Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell, also known as leukocytes, that are a fundamental part of the immune system. They play a critical role in defending the body against infections and diseases. Lymphocytes are an essential component of the adaptive immune system, which provides specific and long-lasting protection against pathogens.

Lymphocytes can be classified into three main types:

  • T-lymphocytes (T cells): These cells play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. They recognize and destroy infected or abnormal cells and help regulate the immune response.
  • B-lymphocytes (B cells): B cells are responsible for the production of antibodies (immunoglobulins), which are proteins that can neutralize pathogens and facilitate their removal from the body.
  • Natural Killer (NK) cells: NK cells are a type of cytotoxic lymphocyte that can identify and kill infected or cancerous cells.

Lymphocytes are crucial for several reasons:

  • Immune Defense: They recognize and target a wide range of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cancer cells.
  • Immunological Memory: Lymphocytes retain a memory of previous encounters with specific pathogens, allowing for a faster and more effective response upon reexposure.
  • Long-lasting Protection: The adaptive immune response orchestrated by lymphocytes provides long-lasting immunity to specific diseases.
  • Regulation: Lymphocytes help regulate the immune response to prevent excessive inflammation and tissue damage.
  • Immunosurveillance: They continuously monitor the body for signs of infection or abnormal cell growth, contributing to early detection and response.
  • Normal Ranges and Units:

    The normal reference ranges for lymphocyte counts may vary slightly between laboratories and can depend on factors such as the individual's age. In adults, the typical range for lymphocytes is approximately 20% to 40% of the total white blood cell count, or around 1,000 to 4,000 lymphocytes per microliter (µL) of blood. The units used for lymphocyte counts are typically cells per microliter (µL) or cells per liter (L).

    Interpretation of Values:

    • Low Lymphocyte Count (Lymphocytopenia): This may indicate a weakened immune system, which can be caused by various factors, including viral infections, immune system disorders, chemotherapy, or certain medications.
    • High Lymphocyte Count (Lymphocytosis): An elevated lymphocyte count can be a response to infections, inflammatory conditions, or some types of leukemia or lymphoma.

Sources of information

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Monocytes are a type of white blood cell (leukocyte) that plays a crucial role in the immune system's defense against infections and other diseases. They are part of the innate immune system and function as phagocytes, which means they have the ability to engulf and digest pathogens, dead cells, and other debris in the body.

Monocytes are vital for several reasons:

  • Immune Response: Monocytes are instrumental in the immune response to infections. They can migrate to tissues where infection or inflammation is present and differentiate into macrophages, which are highly effective in engulfing and destroying pathogens.
  • Tissue Repair: Monocytes and macrophages are involved in the repair and remodeling of damaged tissues. They help clear away dead cells and debris, promoting the healing process.
  • Antigen Presentation: Monocytes and macrophages serve as antigen-presenting cells (APCs). They process and present antigens from engulfed pathogens to helper T cells, initiating a specific immune response.

Normal Values and Units:

Monocyte levels are typically reported as a percentage (%) of total white blood cells or as an absolute count in cells per microliter (µL). The reference range for monocytes in a typical complete blood count (CBC) is as follows:

  • Percentage of total white blood cells: 2% to 9%
  • Absolute monocyte count: 0.2 to 0.8 x 10^9/L (cells per microliter)

Interpretation:

  • Low Monocyte Levels (Monocytopenia): A decreased monocyte count may be associated with conditions like immunosuppression, bone marrow disorders, or specific infections. It can also be a side effect of some medications.
  • High Monocyte Levels (Monocytosis): An increased monocyte count may indicate an ongoing infection, chronic inflammatory condition, or certain diseases such as tuberculosis, mononucleosis, or myelodysplastic syndrome.

Sources of information

  • Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Robbins Basic Pathology. 9th edition. Elsevier; 2012.
  • Swirski FK, Nahrendorf M. Leukocyte behavior in atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Science. 2013;339(6116):161-166.
  • Medscape

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Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell, also known as neutrophil granulocytes, that play a pivotal role in the immune system's response to infections. They are the most abundant type of white blood cells and are classified as granulocytes due to the presence of granules in their cytoplasm, which contain various enzymes and antimicrobial substances. Neutrophils are part of the body's innate immune system, providing a rapid and nonspecific defense against a wide range of pathogens, primarily bacteria and fungi.

Importance of Neutrophils:

  • Innate Immune Response: Neutrophils are essential components of the body's innate immune response, serving as the first line of defense against invading pathogens.
  • Phagocytosis: Neutrophils are highly effective phagocytes, meaning they can engulf and digest bacteria, fungi, and other foreign particles.
  • Inflammatory Response: Neutrophils are recruited to sites of infection or tissue damage, where they release various chemical signals to initiate the inflammatory response, which helps to contain and eliminate infections.
  • Antimicrobial Activity: Neutrophils contain granules filled with enzymes and antimicrobial proteins that can directly destroy pathogens.
  • Respiratory Burst: Neutrophils produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) during an oxidative burst, which further aids in killing microorganisms.

Normal Ranges:

The normal range for neutrophil counts is typically between 40% and 75% of the total white blood cell count.

Neutrophil counts are usually reported in absolute terms, with a normal range of 2,000 to 7,500 neutrophils per microliter (10^9/L).

Abnormal Values:

  • Low Neutrophil Count (Neutropenia): Neutropenia, characterized by a decreased neutrophil count, can result from bone marrow disorders, viral infections (e.g., HIV), chemotherapy or radiation therapy, certain medications, and autoimmune conditions. It increases the risk of severe infections.
  • High Neutrophil Count (Neutrophilia): Neutrophilia, characterized by an elevated neutrophil count, is often seen in response to bacterial infections, inflammatory conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), physical or emotional stress, and some medications. It can also be associated with certain myeloproliferative disorders.

Sources of information

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Thrombocytes, also referred to as platelets, are small, irregularly-shaped blood cells that play a crucial role in the process of blood clotting, known as hemostasis.

In the context of blood work, thrombocytes are commonly abbreviated as PLT, and their unit of measurement is typically reported as platelets per microliter of blood (10^9/L or thousand/μL).

The normal range for platelet counts in a healthy individual typically falls between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood (150-450 x 10^9/L). Deviations from this range may indicate certain medical conditions or factors that impact platelet production, survival, or consumption.

Low platelet counts, referred to as thrombocytopenia, can be attributed to various factors, including:

  • Impaired platelet production in the bone marrow due to conditions like aplastic anemia, leukemia, or myelodysplastic syndromes.
  • Increased platelet destruction or consumption resulting from autoimmune disorders, such as immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Medications, including heparin, chemotherapeutic agents, or certain antibiotics.
  • Viral infections, such as dengue fever or HIV.

High platelet counts, known as thrombocytosis, can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Chronic inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Infections, such as tuberculosis or chronic hepatitis.
  • Bone marrow disorders, including essential thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera.
  • Certain cancers, particularly those affecting the bone marrow or blood, like leukemia or lymphoma.
  • Medications, such as steroids or epinephrine.

Sources of information

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Royal tomb in Benin has traces of human blood on its walls, hinting at human sacrifice, study finds - Livescience.com
Researchers examining the wall of a ceremonial tomb in Benin found proteins that could have come only from human blood.

Nearly 200 years ago, human blood is said to have been incorporated into a ceremonial tomb built within a royal palace complex in what is now Benin, according to legend. Now, an investigation into th… [+4439 chars]

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published 3 days ago
Image of the New Test Detects Parkinson's 7 Years Before Most Symptoms Show - ScienceAlert news article
New Test Detects Parkinson's 7 Years Before Most Symptoms Show - ScienceAlert
Researchers have identified a series of blood markers that betray the presence of Parkinson's disease up to seven years before most symptoms present.

Researchers have identified a series of blood markers that betray the presence of Parkinson's disease up to seven years before most symptoms present. If findings from this small study can be replicat… [+3179 chars]

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published 20 days ago
Image of the Male Birth Control Gel Kicks in Sooner Than Anticipated, Study Finds news article
Male Birth Control Gel Kicks in Sooner Than Anticipated, Study Finds
An emerging option for male birth control might be even more appealing to potential users than expected. Preliminary research released Sunday suggests that NES/T—a once-daily gel applied to the shoulders—can effectively suppress men’s fertility within a matte…

An emerging option for male birth control might be even more appealing to potential users than expected. Preliminary research released Sunday suggests that NES/Ta once-daily gel applied to the should… [+3807 chars]

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published 21 days ago
Image of the At-home saliva test may catch deadly prostate cancers news article
At-home saliva test may catch deadly prostate cancers
Research suggests cheap and simple spit tests may be better at catching the disease than blood tests.

Saliva tests carried out at home are better at identifying men who are at higher risk of prostate cancer than the standard blood test, new research suggests. The at-home test could identify genetic … [+1835 chars]

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published 14 days ago
Image of the Tick attack: BBC hunts for tiny bloodsuckers as diseases rise news article
Tick attack: BBC hunts for tiny bloodsuckers as diseases rise
A closer look at the tiny, disease-carrying pests that are becoming more common in the UK.

James Gallagher inspects some of the captured ticks Am I the hunter or the hunted? It's the question running through my mind as I stroll through the long grass and bracken. Ive come to the park l… [+6224 chars]

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published 11 days ago
Image of the Statins pioneer Akira Endo dies aged 90 news article
Statins pioneer Akira Endo dies aged 90
The Japanese scientist's work led to the creation of the life-saving drugs now used by millions.

By Michelle Roberts, Digital health editor The Japanese scientist whose pioneering work led to the creation of statins, the life-saving drugs used by millions, has died at the age of 90. Akira End… [+2852 chars]

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published 10 days ago
Image of the Design revealed for Aids memorial near Diana ward news article
Design revealed for Aids memorial near Diana ward
Former Turner Prize nominee Anya Gallaccio was selected to design the memorial.

Princess Diana visited the former Middlesex Hospital HIV/Aids ward in 1987 Artist Anya Gallaccio will design London's first permanent Aids memorial, just meters from the site of the UK's first speci… [+3158 chars]

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Interessting Links

In this section, I share links to products, books, and courses that I've found interesting. Please note that these are affiliate marketing links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them. I haven't personally tried these products, so I can't guarantee their effectiveness. However, I believe they could be helpful to you and wanted to present them in case they interest you.

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Affiliate marketing link for the Ironbound book
Ironbound
A strategy for the management of hemochromatosis

These are people who simply were not prepared to risk the serious downside of HCT. Nor were they willing to endure a lifetime of blood-giving – with all the complications that involve, especially as we grow older. This program explains how to treat the intense itching and pain during shingles – and completely side-stepped horrible post-shingles nerve pain while avoiding a repeat attack later. There is also a money back guarantee.

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Affiliate marketing link for the Home doctor book
Book: Home doctor
Practical medicine for every household

The Home Doctor - Practical medicine for every household - is a 304 page doctor written and approved guide on how to manage most health situations when help is not on the way. Dr. Maybell Nieves - head surgeon of the Unit of Breast Pathology and general surgeon at Caracas University Hospital in Venezuela, with over 10 years of experience in the operating room. She studied at the prestigious European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy. The author is known for developing new, ingenious methods of treating patients after Venezuela's economy collapsed and hospitals and pharmacies ran out of medicines, supplies, electricity and running water. The methods she developed and pioneered are now studied and applied in conflict zones all over the world.

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Affiliate marketing link for a method to reverse diabetes type 2 today
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Discover how to completely reverse type 2 diabetes with an all natural, proven method!

Hear from the world's top doctors and Nobel Prize winners and learn how to quickly lower your blood sugar naturally and eliminate the need for prescription drugs and insulin injections.

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Affiliate marketing link for a very complete Human anatomy course
Human anatomy course
Here's your chance to skip the struggle and master human anatomy and physiology

Are you looking to learn anatomy and physiology? You're about to discover the most spectacular gold mine of human anatomy and physiology materials and diagrams ever created for commercial sale! everything you'll ever need to know about human anatomy, physiology and drug therapy complete with diagrams, courses, lesson plans, quizzes and solutions. It promises that you could master over 15 years of anatomy and physiology knowledge in just 7 days!

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