Q:

What does a high neutrophil count indicate?

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Quick Answer

A high neutrophil count in the blood may indicate one of several immune system difficulties, including an acute infection, acute stress, gout, eclampsia and trauma, according to MedlinePlus. Diseases associated with a higher percentage of neutrophils are rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis and myelocytic leukemia.

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Full Answer

Neutrophilic leukocytosis is a condition during which a person has an abnormally high amount of neutrophils in the blood. This disorder may be caused by an injury; inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis; and some drugs, including corticosteroids, notes The Merck Manual. Infections by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi also cause increased neutrophils.

Gout refers to a type of arthritis caused by an increase of uric acid in the bloodstream, notes MedlinePlus. Eclampsia occurs when a pregnant woman has seizures following high blood pressure and high protein levels in the urine, according to MedicineNet. Myelocytic leukemia happens when bone marrow produces abnormal blood cells that build up and to prevent healthy cells from developing, according to the National Cancer Institute.

In general, increased white blood cells occur during an immune response of any kind. An abnormal increase in neutrophils may cause a decrease in other types of white blood cells. The normal amount of neutrophils found in a person's blood is between 40 and 60 percent of the overall white blood cell count. Neutrophil levels are found with a blood differential test, notes MedlinePlus.

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