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Normal basophil count in the blood

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Normal basophil count in the blood
Last update: 09/03/2021

What is the normal count of basophils in the blood?

The normal count of basophils in the blood is age-dependent:

Adults: 20 - 200 /µl (microliter)
Children from 5 to 18 years old: 10 - 300 /µl (microliter)
Children from 1 to 5 years old: 5 - 300 /µl (microliter)
Newborns up to 1 month old: 0 - 600 /µl (microliter)

Why normal levels can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal ranges for the basophil count in the blood. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels, according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

In addition, the normal basophil count is lowest in the morning and peaks at night.

What is the role of basophils in the body?

Basophils are a type of leukocyte or WBC (White Blood Cells). They are part of the immune system.

Basophils have two main roles in the immune system:

  • Anticoagulant: Basophils contain heparin, which prevents blood from clotting too fast.
  • Anti-infective: They release histamine that participates in various mast cell-mediated responses such as allergy, infection and inflammation. Histamine induces vasodilation that increase local blood flow to the tissues.

Along eosinophils, the basophils play an essential role in the immune response to parasitic infections and in allergies.

What is the basophil count used for?

Basophils are produced in the bone marrow. Once in the bloodstream they travel to the tissues (skin, mucosa, etc.) in response to inflammatory or infectious processes.

Basophil counts are used to study chronic inflammation. There is a positive correlation between high basophil counts and high concentrations of blood histamines, although this correlation does not imply cause and effect.

A basophil count above the normal range may be a sign of suffering from an infection (chickenpox, smallpox, etc.), inflammation (ulcerative colitis) or caused by allergic reaction to some foods.

Leukemia and other pathologic alterations in bone marrow production (chronic myeloid leukemia, polycythemia vera or myelofibrosis, etc.) may also give rise to an increase in basophils.

It is extremely difficult to diagnose a low basophil count in the blood, called basopenia, because electronic counters may not detect any basophil in the blood sample. For that reason, a basophil count near zero may be considered in the normal range if it is measured with some types of electronic counters.

Corticosteroids, allergic reactions with hives, and acute infections all may lower the basophil count.

The basophil count test is also interesting to detect thyroid gland disorders. In case of hyperthyroidism, basophil count is below the normal range and in case of hypothyroidism, basophil count is above the normal count.

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

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Which values are considered a normal basophil count in the blood?

The following values are considered to be normal values:

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.

Basophils
Normality
20 /µl21 /µl22 /µl23 /µl24 /µl25 /µl26 /µl27 /µl
28 /µl29 /µl30 /µl31 /µl32 /µl33 /µl34 /µl35 /µl
36 /µl37 /µl38 /µl39 /µl40 /µl41 /µl42 /µl43 /µl
44 /µl45 /µl46 /µl47 /µl48 /µl49 /µl50 /µl51 /µl
52 /µl53 /µl54 /µl55 /µl56 /µl57 /µl58 /µl59 /µl
60 /µl61 /µl62 /µl63 /µl64 /µl65 /µl66 /µl67 /µl
68 /µl69 /µl70 /µl71 /µl72 /µl73 /µl74 /µl75 /µl
76 /µl77 /µl78 /µl79 /µl80 /µl81 /µl82 /µl83 /µl
84 /µl85 /µl86 /µl87 /µl88 /µl89 /µl90 /µl91 /µl
92 /µl93 /µl94 /µl95 /µl96 /µl97 /µl98 /µl99 /µl
100 /µl101 /µl102 /µl103 /µl104 /µl105 /µl106 /µl107 /µl
108 /µl109 /µl110 /µl111 /µl112 /µl113 /µl114 /µl115 /µl
116 /µl117 /µl118 /µl119 /µl120 /µl121 /µl122 /µl123 /µl
124 /µl125 /µl126 /µl127 /µl128 /µl129 /µl130 /µl131 /µl
132 /µl133 /µl134 /µl135 /µl136 /µl137 /µl138 /µl139 /µl
140 /µl141 /µl142 /µl143 /µl144 /µl145 /µl146 /µl147 /µl
148 /µl149 /µl150 /µl151 /µl152 /µl153 /µl154 /µl155 /µl
156 /µl157 /µl158 /µl159 /µl160 /µl161 /µl162 /µl163 /µl
164 /µl165 /µl166 /µl167 /µl168 /µl169 /µl170 /µl171 /µl
172 /µl173 /µl174 /µl175 /µl176 /µl177 /µl178 /µl179 /µl
180 /µl181 /µl182 /µl183 /µl184 /µl185 /µl186 /µl187 /µl
188 /µl189 /µl190 /µl191 /µl192 /µl193 /µl194 /µl195 /µl
196 /µl197 /µl198 /µl199 /µl200 /µl   
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 09/03/2021

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 77. 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. 52.

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