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High neutrophil count in the blood

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High neutrophil count in the blood
Last update: 11/02/2021

What is a high count of neutrophils in the blood called?

  • Neutrophilia

What is the normal count of neutrophils in the blood?

If you need to know which are the neutrophils reference ranges or you require more information about the role of neutrophils in the blood, you can visit normal neutrophils count in the blood

What does a high count of neutrophils in the blood mean?

A high count of neutrophils in the blood is called neutrophilia. Neutrophils are the most common type of WBC (White Blood Cells). They are the first line of host immune response against invading pathogens.

The increase of total neutrophil count is usually seen also in the percentage of neutrophils of the total WBC count. It will be above the 70% but it is better to make the study based on the total neutrophil count.

The main cause of neutrophilia are bacterial infections. In many cases, fever is present. In addition, there may be a high presence of stab or band neutrophils. Some other frequent causes of neutrophilia may be stress, trauma or burns.

A severe neutrophilia may be related to a blood cancer such as chronic myeloid leukemia.

The most frequent causes of neutrophilia are:

  • Infections (the most common)
  • Tobacco
  • Physiological stimuli (stress, intense exercise, burns, trauma)
  • Drugs (glucocorticoids)
  • Leukemia such as chronic myeloid leukemia

In case of neutrophilia due to infection, the increase in the neutrophil count is usually related to the severity of infection.

Neutrophilia or a high neutrophil count in the blood means:

  • Mild neutrophilia (7 - 10 x 103/µl in adults) :

    A mild neutrophilia is not a matter of concern. It may be due to trivial reasons such as stress, vigorous exercise, tobacco, surgery or burns.

    It may also be consequence of a moderate bacterial, viral or fungal infection.

    If there is no other symptom present, you should repeat the blood test in 3 or 4 weeks and if the infection is healed the values will return to normal range. If they keep up high, a visit to your doctor is recommended.

  • Moderate neutrophilia (10 - 30 x 103/µl in adults) :

    A moderate neutrophilia with a neutrophil count above 10 x103 requires a study because it may be a first sign of an underlying disease.

    For example, it may point towards a severe infection with pus presence or an excessive smoking.

    If fever is present, it may be a sign of a bacterial infection such as rheumatic fever where there is a high percentage of neutrophils in the total WBC count. In a similar way, it happens in peritonitis, diverticulitis, cholecystitis or pancreatitis.

  • Severe neutrophilia (> 30 x 103/µl in adults) :

    A severe neutrophilia requires a visit to your doctor.

    It may be a sign of some types of leukemia. The most common type is chronic myeloid leukemia but it may also be due to the less frequent chronic neutrophilic leukemia.

    Another possibility is a leukemoid reaction that is an inflammatory reaction that may be mistaken for leukemia. It may occur in severe infections such as pneumonia, sepsis, hemorrhagic shock, or severe tissue damage.

Which factors can increase the neutrophil count in the blood?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your neutrophil count:

  • Vigorous exercise
  • Stress
  • Bleeding
  • Burns
  • Tobacco
  • Injury
  • Drugs
    • Anticoagulants
      • Heparin
    • Catecholamine
      • Epinephrine
    • Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF or GCSF)
    • Glucocorticoids
      • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
      • Prednisone
    • Psychotropic drugs
      • Lithium

Which diseases can increase your neutrophil count in the blood?

A neutrophil count higher than normal may be a sign of the following diseases:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Pneumonia
  • Cholecystitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Appendicitis
  • Peritonitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Gout
  • Diphtheria
  • Shigellosis
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Chronic neutrophilic leukemia
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Still's disease
  • Sweet's syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Eclampsia
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
  • Polymyositis and dermatomyositis

What can I do to lower the neutrophil count in the blood?

In case of a high neutrophil count, you may consider the following tips:

  • Stop smoking
  • Try to reduce stress and get adequate rest
  • Look if you are taking any drug that may interfere in the neutrophil count such as glucocorticoids
  • Do not make vigorous exercise

Where can I find more information about neutrophil count in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high neutrophil count in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in number of thousands/µl (microliter). They are an example of a healthy white woman of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Neutrophils
Mild neutrophilia
7.1 x 103/µl7.2 x 103/µl7.3 x 103/µl7.4 x 103/µl7.5 x 103/µl7.6 x 103/µl7.7 x 103/µl7.8 x 103/µl
7.9 x 103/µl8 x 103/µl8.1 x 103/µl8.2 x 103/µl8.3 x 103/µl8.4 x 103/µl8.5 x 103/µl8.6 x 103/µl
8.7 x 103/µl8.8 x 103/µl8.9 x 103/µl9 x 103/µl9.1 x 103/µl9.2 x 103/µl9.3 x 103/µl9.4 x 103/µl
9.5 x 103/µl9.6 x 103/µl9.7 x 103/µl9.8 x 103/µl9.9 x 103/µl10 x 103/µl  
Moderate neutrophilia
10.1 x 103/µl10.2 x 103/µl10.3 x 103/µl10.4 x 103/µl10.5 x 103/µl10.6 x 103/µl10.7 x 103/µl10.8 x 103/µl
10.9 x 103/µl11 x 103/µl11.1 x 103/µl11.2 x 103/µl11.3 x 103/µl11.4 x 103/µl11.5 x 103/µl11.6 x 103/µl
11.7 x 103/µl11.8 x 103/µl11.9 x 103/µl12 x 103/µl12.1 x 103/µl12.2 x 103/µl12.3 x 103/µl12.4 x 103/µl
12.5 x 103/µl12.6 x 103/µl12.7 x 103/µl12.8 x 103/µl12.9 x 103/µl13 x 103/µl13.1 x 103/µl13.2 x 103/µl
13.3 x 103/µl13.4 x 103/µl13.5 x 103/µl13.6 x 103/µl13.7 x 103/µl13.8 x 103/µl13.9 x 103/µl14 x 103/µl
14.1 x 103/µl14.2 x 103/µl14.3 x 103/µl14.4 x 103/µl14.5 x 103/µl14.6 x 103/µl14.7 x 103/µl14.8 x 103/µl
14.9 x 103/µl15 x 103/µl15.1 x 103/µl15.2 x 103/µl15.3 x 103/µl15.4 x 103/µl15.5 x 103/µl15.6 x 103/µl
15.7 x 103/µl15.8 x 103/µl15.9 x 103/µl16 x 103/µl16.1 x 103/µl16.2 x 103/µl16.3 x 103/µl16.4 x 103/µl
16.5 x 103/µl16.6 x 103/µl16.7 x 103/µl16.8 x 103/µl16.9 x 103/µl17 x 103/µl17.1 x 103/µl17.2 x 103/µl
17.3 x 103/µl17.4 x 103/µl17.5 x 103/µl17.6 x 103/µl17.7 x 103/µl17.8 x 103/µl17.9 x 103/µl18 x 103/µl
18.1 x 103/µl18.2 x 103/µl18.3 x 103/µl18.4 x 103/µl18.5 x 103/µl18.6 x 103/µl18.7 x 103/µl18.8 x 103/µl
18.9 x 103/µl19 x 103/µl19.1 x 103/µl19.2 x 103/µl19.3 x 103/µl19.4 x 103/µl19.5 x 103/µl19.6 x 103/µl
19.7 x 103/µl19.8 x 103/µl19.9 x 103/µl20 x 103/µl20.1 x 103/µl20.2 x 103/µl20.3 x 103/µl20.4 x 103/µl
20.5 x 103/µl20.6 x 103/µl20.7 x 103/µl20.8 x 103/µl20.9 x 103/µl21 x 103/µl21.1 x 103/µl21.2 x 103/µl
21.3 x 103/µl21.4 x 103/µl21.5 x 103/µl21.6 x 103/µl21.7 x 103/µl21.8 x 103/µl21.9 x 103/µl22 x 103/µl
22.1 x 103/µl22.2 x 103/µl22.3 x 103/µl22.4 x 103/µl22.5 x 103/µl22.6 x 103/µl22.7 x 103/µl22.8 x 103/µl
22.9 x 103/µl23 x 103/µl23.1 x 103/µl23.2 x 103/µl23.3 x 103/µl23.4 x 103/µl23.5 x 103/µl23.6 x 103/µl
23.7 x 103/µl23.8 x 103/µl23.9 x 103/µl24 x 103/µl24.1 x 103/µl24.2 x 103/µl24.3 x 103/µl24.4 x 103/µl
24.5 x 103/µl24.6 x 103/µl24.7 x 103/µl24.8 x 103/µl24.9 x 103/µl25 x 103/µl25.1 x 103/µl25.2 x 103/µl
25.3 x 103/µl25.4 x 103/µl25.5 x 103/µl25.6 x 103/µl25.7 x 103/µl25.8 x 103/µl25.9 x 103/µl26 x 103/µl
26.1 x 103/µl26.2 x 103/µl26.3 x 103/µl26.4 x 103/µl26.5 x 103/µl26.6 x 103/µl26.7 x 103/µl26.8 x 103/µl
26.9 x 103/µl27 x 103/µl27.1 x 103/µl27.2 x 103/µl27.3 x 103/µl27.4 x 103/µl27.5 x 103/µl27.6 x 103/µl
27.7 x 103/µl27.8 x 103/µl27.9 x 103/µl28 x 103/µl28.1 x 103/µl28.2 x 103/µl28.3 x 103/µl28.4 x 103/µl
28.5 x 103/µl28.6 x 103/µl28.7 x 103/µl28.8 x 103/µl28.9 x 103/µl29 x 103/µl29.1 x 103/µl29.2 x 103/µl
29.3 x 103/µl29.4 x 103/µl29.5 x 103/µl29.6 x 103/µl29.7 x 103/µl29.8 x 103/µl29.9 x 103/µl30 x 103/µl
Severe neutrophilia
30.1 x 103/µl30.2 x 103/µl30.3 x 103/µl30.4 x 103/µl30.5 x 103/µl30.6 x 103/µl30.7 x 103/µl30.8 x 103/µl
30.9 x 103/µl31 x 103/µl31.1 x 103/µl31.2 x 103/µl31.3 x 103/µl31.4 x 103/µl31.5 x 103/µl31.6 x 103/µl
31.7 x 103/µl31.8 x 103/µl31.9 x 103/µl32 x 103/µl32.1 x 103/µl32.2 x 103/µl32.3 x 103/µl32.4 x 103/µl
32.5 x 103/µl32.6 x 103/µl32.7 x 103/µl32.8 x 103/µl32.9 x 103/µl33 x 103/µl33.1 x 103/µl33.2 x 103/µl
33.3 x 103/µl33.4 x 103/µl33.5 x 103/µl33.6 x 103/µl33.7 x 103/µl33.8 x 103/µl33.9 x 103/µl34 x 103/µl
34.1 x 103/µl34.2 x 103/µl34.3 x 103/µl34.4 x 103/µl34.5 x 103/µl34.6 x 103/µl34.7 x 103/µl34.8 x 103/µl
34.9 x 103/µl35 x 103/µl35.1 x 103/µl35.2 x 103/µl35.3 x 103/µl35.4 x 103/µl35.5 x 103/µl35.6 x 103/µl
35.7 x 103/µl35.8 x 103/µl35.9 x 103/µl36 x 103/µl36.1 x 103/µl36.2 x 103/µl36.3 x 103/µl36.4 x 103/µl
36.5 x 103/µl36.6 x 103/µl36.7 x 103/µl36.8 x 103/µl36.9 x 103/µl37 x 103/µl37.1 x 103/µl37.2 x 103/µl
37.3 x 103/µl37.4 x 103/µl37.5 x 103/µl37.6 x 103/µl37.7 x 103/µl37.8 x 103/µl37.9 x 103/µl38 x 103/µl
38.1 x 103/µl38.2 x 103/µl38.3 x 103/µl38.4 x 103/µl38.5 x 103/µl38.6 x 103/µl38.7 x 103/µl38.8 x 103/µl
38.9 x 103/µl39 x 103/µl39.1 x 103/µl39.2 x 103/µl39.3 x 103/µl39.4 x 103/µl39.5 x 103/µl39.6 x 103/µl
39.7 x 103/µl39.8 x 103/µl39.9 x 103/µl40 x 103/µl40.1 x 103/µl40.2 x 103/µl40.3 x 103/µl40.4 x 103/µl
40.5 x 103/µl40.6 x 103/µl40.7 x 103/µl40.8 x 103/µl40.9 x 103/µl41 x 103/µl41.1 x 103/µl41.2 x 103/µl
41.3 x 103/µl41.4 x 103/µl41.5 x 103/µl41.6 x 103/µl41.7 x 103/µl41.8 x 103/µl41.9 x 103/µl42 x 103/µl
42.1 x 103/µl42.2 x 103/µl42.3 x 103/µl42.4 x 103/µl42.5 x 103/µl42.6 x 103/µl42.7 x 103/µl42.8 x 103/µl
42.9 x 103/µl43 x 103/µl43.1 x 103/µl43.2 x 103/µl43.3 x 103/µl43.4 x 103/µl43.5 x 103/µl43.6 x 103/µl
43.7 x 103/µl43.8 x 103/µl43.9 x 103/µl44 x 103/µl44.1 x 103/µl44.2 x 103/µl44.3 x 103/µl44.4 x 103/µl
44.5 x 103/µl44.6 x 103/µl44.7 x 103/µl44.8 x 103/µl44.9 x 103/µl45 x 103/µl45.1 x 103/µl45.2 x 103/µl
45.3 x 103/µl45.4 x 103/µl45.5 x 103/µl45.6 x 103/µl45.7 x 103/µl45.8 x 103/µl45.9 x 103/µl46 x 103/µl
46.1 x 103/µl46.2 x 103/µl46.3 x 103/µl46.4 x 103/µl46.5 x 103/µl46.6 x 103/µl46.7 x 103/µl46.8 x 103/µl
46.9 x 103/µl47 x 103/µl47.1 x 103/µl47.2 x 103/µl47.3 x 103/µl47.4 x 103/µl47.5 x 103/µl47.6 x 103/µl
47.7 x 103/µl47.8 x 103/µl47.9 x 103/µl48 x 103/µl48.1 x 103/µl48.2 x 103/µl48.3 x 103/µl48.4 x 103/µl
48.5 x 103/µl48.6 x 103/µl48.7 x 103/µl48.8 x 103/µl48.9 x 103/µl49 x 103/µl49.1 x 103/µl49.2 x 103/µl
49.3 x 103/µl49.4 x 103/µl49.5 x 103/µl49.6 x 103/µl49.7 x 103/µl49.8 x 103/µl49.9 x 103/µl50 x 103/µl
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 11/02/2021

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 262.
  • A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Test. 9th edition. Frances Fischbach. Marshall B. Dunning III. 2014. Pag 72. ISBN-10: 1451190891.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 49.
  • Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Version 5.0.Published: November 27, 2017. U.S. Department of health and human Services. Disponible en: https://ctep.cancer.gov

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