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Neutrophil and white blood cell count

Could someone please explain in very plain English to someone (me!) who didn't do well in GCSE Biology what your neutrophil and white blood cells counts are and what it means is they are abnormal (high)?

Basically I've had some very odd/high readings of these on repeated recent blood tests alongside just feeling pretty ill (sort of mild fluy). The high readings I had last time I was in hospital were put down to being on a high dose of Prednisolone, but my GPs wondering if there's something else going on (but doesn't know what) and has asked me to discuss it with my respiratory consultant this week. The thing is, I don't really understand what it is I'm supposed to be discussing as I really wasn't taking in what my GP was saying. She was talking about one being an umbrella of another, but I don't understand what she means by this.

Any help in understanding what these are, if abnormal levels are *just* down to being on long-term high dose Pred and how they relate to my asthma (which I'm currently having problems getting control over, even on the Pred) would be really appreciated, thanks.

5 Replies

hope this helps... neutrophills are a type of white blood cells to fight infection within the body,,, for some asthmatics they have a high count all the time, ? cause or a response to inflammation in the lungs... for some like myself these nuetrophils cause further inflamation in the lungs..... unfortunately this inflamation doesnt respond to normal asthma medication or oral steriods, tho high dose oral steriuods may give some or slight improvement but not total control or relief from symptoms.

there is a test for this its consists of a an induced sputum specimen, a nitrous oxide indicator of inflamtion within the lungs and the dreaded lung function test with repsonse to nebulisers.... depending on all the results may give diagnosis of neutrophillic asthma..... limeted treatment with antibiotics, not for the infection but to reduce the inflamtion in the lungs,,,, sorry if its too much info


Thanks Gussy, and yes, that makes some sense in terms of what my GP was saying. I guess I'll just have to see what the consultant says tomorrow, but what you describe is pretty much where I am - maximum meds including long term Pred and not improving. I'm feeling really rotten at the moment and just want this sorted. :(


Hope things went well with the consultant.


Well the consultant said it was just down to being on long term steroids and I trust him as I have no reason not to and he's supposed to know his stuff, but I am a little confused - if it's the steroids, why now, and why didn't my GP raise this as the cause if it's as common as the consultant said it was? My GP thinks there's some underlying infection somewhere but the consultant dismissed this. Difficult when I trust both but in this case one's got to be right and one not.


Im sure if your consultant had any concerns he would have done the test for neutrophillic asthma. Now you know about the condition it may get discussed again at a later date if you still have concerns about it. Hope things settle down soon


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