What Does It Mean When Your Neutrophils Are High?

Reviewed on 8/18/2020

What Are Neutrophils?

A high neutrophil count or white blood cell count can indicate a variety of diverse conditions, no all of which are harmful. The test must be done in conjunction with other tests to determine a diagnosis.
A high neutrophil count or white blood cell count can indicate a variety of diverse conditions, no all of which are harmful. The test must be done in conjunction with other diagnostic measures to determine a diagnosis.

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infections and heal injured tissues. 

Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow, and they make up 55 to 70 percent of the total white blood cell count.

What Is a Normal Neutrophil Count?

An absolute neutrophil count (ANC) blood test may be ordered along with a complete blood count (CBC) test with differential. 

  • Low levels of neutrophils are below 1.5 mcL or less than 45 percent of total white blood cells
    • If levels are between 1.0 to 1.5 mcL, it is considered mild
    • If levels are between 0.5 and 1.0 mcL, it is considered moderately low 
    • Levels of less than 0.5 mcL are considered severe low levels of neutrophils 
  • Normal adult levels of neutrophils are about 1,500 to 8,000 or 1.5 to 8.0 neutrophils per microliters (mcL)
  • High levels of neutrophils are more than 8000 neutrophils per mcL or 8.0 mcL

What Does It Mean When Your Neutrophils Are High?

High levels of neutrophils in the blood are called neutrophilic leukocytosis or neutrophilia.

Causes of high levels of neutrophils in the blood (neutrophilia) include:

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Reviewed on 8/18/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference