0.1 X10E3/uL Myelocytes

It says the normal range is 0. Is there something wrong with having that many myelocytes?


Myelocytes are immature granulocytes (a type of white blood cells), that are usually only found in bone marrow.

In essence, raised immature granulocytes are a sign of bone marrow activity.

The reference range for adults who are not pregnant I found was usually 0, except for this paper: Age-dependent reference ranges for automated assessment of immature granulocytes and clinical significance in an outpatient setting where they looked at healthy patients and determined a reference range from that.

we recommend the following IG upper reference range limits for routine outpatient use: 0.30%/40.0 µL−1 (≤10 years) and 0.90%/70.0 µL−1 (>10 years).

Most people had a count of 0, though. They then looked at the outliers they found in another group, and found that these people had

infections (such as respiratory infections) and drug therapy (mostly glucocorticoids and chemotherapeutics) as common etiologies

High values can be found in patients hospitalized with severe infections: Revisiting the white blood cell count: immature granulocytes count as a diagnostic marker to discriminate between SIRS and sepsis - a prospective, observational study found values of 630.5 +/− 1042.5 cells/μl in patients with an infection. This could be used to differentiate between patients with and without infection.

The most worrisome cause, and why further tests are ordered if values are high is that a raised count can be a sign of acute myeloid leukemia:

Most patients with AML have too many immature white cells in their blood, and not enough red blood cells or platelets. Many of the white blood cells may be myeloblasts (often just called blasts), which are immature blood-forming cells that are not normally found in the blood.

How is acute myeloid leukemia diagnosed?

So, at the very least, we have the following possible causes for values above the reference value:

  • acute infection
  • acute inflammatory disease
  • steroid use
  • acute myeloid leukemia

The number alone is not sufficient to make a diagnosis, so further tests are needed.

  • Are there any other less worrisome causes? Is there an acceptable range? I think this matters. :) Dec 1 '15 at 6:11

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