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Lymphocytes: decrease or increase in the number of lymphocytes

Decrease in the number of lymphocytes

The number of lymphocytes decreases in many conditions, such as a bone marrow problem ( bone marrow failure ).

But also in case of certain viral or bacterial infections, in cases of immunodeficiency syndrome, and in particular AIDS, where the number of lymphocytes decreases (such as T4 or CD4 lymphocytes).

If there is a decrease in the number of lymphocytes, it is called lymphopenia (below 1000 / mm3).

Significant malnutrition can lead to lymphocyte deficiency. As well as severe renal insufficiency.

Prolonged cortisone may also lower lymphocytes, as well as chemotherapy drugs, monoclonal antibodies, radiotherapy, and so on.

The number of lymphocytes can also be reduced in neurological conditions: Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis ... or in certain lymphomas.

Rising lymphocytes

The number of lymphocytes also increases in many diseases: infectious diseases, especially viral. But also in case of bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis, syphilis.

In the case of an increase in the number of lymphocytes, lymphocytosis (above 4000 / mm3) is mentioned.

Lymphocytosis also occurs in an acute way, in the event of a cardiac event, of traumatism.

When the number of lymphocytes remains high and depending on other symptoms, more serious pathologies may be considered, such as:

  • lymphoma,
  • lymphoid leukemia,
  • promyelocytic leukemia,
  • multiple myeloma, etc.

Of course, depending on the abnormality observed and the appearance of specific symptoms, additional examinations may be considered (medical imaging examination, other blood tests, bone marrow puncture ...).

The general practitioner will interpret the blood count (NFS) and the number of lymphocytes. In case of significant problem, the opinion of a hematologist is essential.

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Read also :

> The blood test
> The blood donation
> The karyotype

Sources:
> Medullary Aplasia, National Protocol of Protocol and Care for a Rare Disease, Long Term Affection Guide, HAS, 2009.
> C. Ménard. Lymphocyte development, University of Rennes. 2009.

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