CLL Support Association

I hear many in our cll community talk of neutrophils Could any body explain this to me please? Brad7

THE term neutrophils and one's concerns of them, being diagnosed just 4 weeks ago and not hearing of the term used before brings me to something I should know about

Very new to CLL and not having the symptoms most refer to makes me want a watch list for the future


4 Replies

This helped me to understand blood counts Brad, in particular neutrophils which I agree we rarely hear or think about prior to diagnosis;

This article also explains what neutropenia is, why it occurs and the symptoms to watch;



Neutrophils are part of your white blood cell count (WBC). They comprise about 50 to 60 percent of this count...

white blood cell count (WBC) is part of your Full Blood Count (FBC)

We remove them from the white blood cell count (WBC) blood work results in CLL to get a better understanding of what the malignant B cells are doing... this is called the absolute lymphocyte count (ALC).

If you want to track anything about CLL then track your absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) numbers.

So in CLL white blood cell count (WBC) is very general, absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) in much more specific...

By the way we make and destroy 100 billion neutropils a day... their primary duty is to kill bacterial antigens...

Great video animation


Hi Brad7,

The resource links from Newdawn and excellent video from Chris will take you far in understanding Neutrophils. I would only encourage you to learn how to read your bloodwork. I urge you to get copies of all bloodwork you have done and keep them for reference. In the US it is usually split into two general tests one being the CBC (Complete Blood Count) and the CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel). As Chris advises, look only for the ALC (Absolute Lymphocyte Count) to gage the truer picture of cancer cell volume and the ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count). These tests, at least in the US, always gives % of Lymphocytes and % of Neutrophils in addition to ALC & ANC. Just track the ALC & ANC. %s are used in calculating the ALC & ANC often causing panic among newly diagnosed patients. With neutrophils there is some room for debate on when to boost the production of Neutrophils by G-CSF given as a shot(s) when Neutrophil numbers get dangerously low - usually around .6 or .5 (normal low ref range = 1.5) The greatest danger from low Neutrophils is infection by gram-negative bacteria.

Hope this is a help,



Thanks ThreeWs Ive just had my first real blood work done after diagnosis glad to have insight in what I should be looking out for.


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