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Low monocyte count in the blood

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Low monocyte count in the blood
Last update: 16/03/2021

What is a low count of monocytes in the blood called?

  • Monocytopenia

What is the normal count of monocytes in the blood?

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

What does a low count of monocytes in the blood mean?

A low monocyte count is called monocytopenia and it is not very common. Monocytopenia is not used for diagnosis purposes and only if there is a severe monocytopenia (monocyte count below 50 /µl) is a matter for study.

The reduction of the total monocyte count usually correlates to a decrease in the percentage of monocytes. Monocyte % will be below the 2%. It is better to make the study with the total count of monocyte and not with the percentage.

Monocytopenia is not related to concrete diseases except in the case of hairy cell leukemia where severe monocytosis is characteristic.

A low monocyte count may be a sign of immunodeficiency against viruses and bacteria and it may increase the risk to suffer an infection.

Monocytopenia or a low monocyte count in the blood means:

  • Mild monocytopenia (50 - 130 /µl in adults):

    A mild monocytopenia is not a matter for concern. It does not require any measure, but it is advisable to see the evolution in future blood test.

    It may be due to medication. For example, corticosteroids or glucocorticoids may alter the monocyte count.

  • Severe monocytopenia (0 - 50 /µl in adults):

    A severe monocytopenia need medical care because it increases the risk to suffer an infection.

    A severe monocytopenia may be a sign of bone marrow disease or leukemia. It may be a consequence of suffering hairy cell leukemia.

Which factors can decrease the monocyte count in the blood?

Some particular health situation and drugs may reduce your monocyte count in the blood:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Burns
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Drugs
    • Anxiolytic
      • Triazolam
    • Corticosteroids
      • Prednisone
    • Glucocorticoids
    • Interferon

Which diseases can decrease your monocyte count in the blood?

The following diseases can explain a monocyte count in the blood lower than normal:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Hairy cell leukemia
  • HIV Human immunodeficiency virus

What can I do to increase the monocyte count in the blood?

Heat stimulates the monocyte production. If the monocyte count is slightly low, sunbathing or saunas can increase the monocyte count.

It is also important to follow a healthy diet with a proper intake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is usually found in meat, eggs and cereals.

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

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a low monocyte count in the blood?

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

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in number /µl (microliter). They are an example of a healthy white man/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.

Monocytes
Mild monocytopenia
129 /µl128 /µl127 /µl126 /µl125 /µl124 /µl123 /µl122 /µl
121 /µl120 /µl119 /µl118 /µl117 /µl116 /µl115 /µl114 /µl
113 /µl112 /µl111 /µl110 /µl109 /µl108 /µl107 /µl106 /µl
105 /µl104 /µl103 /µl102 /µl101 /µl100 /µl99 /µl98 /µl
97 /µl96 /µl95 /µl94 /µl93 /µl92 /µl91 /µl90 /µl
89 /µl88 /µl87 /µl86 /µl85 /µl84 /µl83 /µl82 /µl
81 /µl80 /µl79 /µl78 /µl77 /µl76 /µl75 /µl74 /µl
73 /µl72 /µl71 /µl70 /µl69 /µl68 /µl67 /µl66 /µl
65 /µl64 /µl63 /µl62 /µl61 /µl60 /µl59 /µl58 /µl
57 /µl56 /µl55 /µl54 /µl53 /µl52 /µl51 /µl50 /µl
Severe monocytopenia
49 /µl48 /µl47 /µl46 /µl45 /µl44 /µl43 /µl42 /µl
41 /µl40 /µl39 /µl38 /µl37 /µl36 /µl35 /µl34 /µl
33 /µl32 /µl31 /µl30 /µl29 /µl28 /µl27 /µl26 /µl
25 /µl24 /µl23 /µl22 /µl21 /µl20 /µl19 /µl18 /µl
17 /µl16 /µl15 /µl14 /µl13 /µl12 /µl11 /µl10 /µl
9 /µl8 /µl7 /µl6 /µl5 /µl4 /µl3 /µl2 /µl
1 /µl0 /µl      
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 16/03/2021

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 261.
  • A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Test. 9th edition. Frances Fischbach. Marshall B. Dunning III. 2014. Pag 78. 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. 55.

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