High white blood cell count

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High white blood cell count

Question

What causes a high white blood cell count?

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Answer

White blood cells (leukocytes) help fight infection in your body. A normal white blood cell count is between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per microliter. A high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) isn't a specific disease. But it may indicate an underlying problem that requires medical evaluation. Causes of a high white blood cell count include:

  • Infection
  • Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, antibiotics or anti-seizure drugs
  • Severe physical or emotional stress
  • Chronic bone marrow diseases such as a myeloproliferative disorder
  • Acute or chronic leukemia
  • Tissue damage, such as from burns

Last Updated: 09/20/2006
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