Got my CBC w/diff results back today. I've been tracking the #s for 3 1/2 yrs now and though I've noticed how different labs can list the results differently, for the first time I'm finding differences in the differential from my last few tests, each taken at the same lab.
Comparing the last two - December's shows "Differential, Auto" while today it says"Differential, Manual". The Auto breaks Lymphocytes into both Lymph Abso (ALC) and Lymph % (which I ignore), while the Manual has only the Lymph %. Therefore I was forced to do math today to come up with the ALC #. That's when I realized that the Lymphocyte percentage, which had lately been in the mid-80's percentile was instead an amazingly low 69%. This % in conjunction with the number of WBC's being lower than it was in Dec. translated into the lowest ALC # I'd seen in 2 years. I was thrilled.
HOWEVER... a few hours later I noticed another Lymph category I hadn't seen during my first perusal - "Variant Lymphocytes". This was said to be 8%.
As well, as I began hunting for other diff differences, I noticed how this report displayed "Segmented Neutrophils", "Bands", and "Neut Abs Man" (the first 2 being percentages) while previously neutrophil categories had only shown "Neut %" & "Neut Abs".
Does anyone know why one test would be Auto and one would be Manual and what that implies? And what is the significance of Segmented Neutrophils vis a vis Bands and why would the manual break them down like this as opposed to one number? Most importantly how do I compare ALC from one test to the other? Do I take 8% of the WBC and add them to the 69% of the WBC for a total ALC? What are Variant Lymphocytes anyway? Are these smudge cells? [At this point I'm guessing that 8% is an estimation of the cells that were smushed and couldn't be counted and therefore are all CLL cells while the 69% of WBC are a combination of CLL cells and healthy B, T, and Natural Killer lymphocytes, though with the vast majority being CLL cells].
Thanks for the info from anyone in the know who can help me calculate my ALC given my WBC was 31.4.