What are the causes of low absolute monocytes?


Quick Answer

According to Lab Tests Online, one low count of absolute monocytes is usually not medically significant; however, repeated low monocyte count may mean bone marrow damage or failure or hairy cell leukemia. The absolute monocyte count is a test performed as part of the differential count of the complete blood count. Monocytes are a type of white blood cell; the other white blood cells are neutrophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils and basophils.

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Full Answer

Neutrophils are the most common, followed by lymphocytes, then monocytes, eosinophils and basophils, explains Lab Tests Online. High neutrophil counts can occur with bacterial infection, inflammation, trauma, stress and chronic leukemia. Low neutrophil counts can be caused by severe infection or sepsis, cancer, chemotherapy, drugs and autoimmune disorders.

High lymphocyte counts are usually due to acute viral infections; certain bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis; lymphocytic leukemia; and lymphoma, states Lab Test Online. Low lymphocyte counts may be due to HIV, bone marrow disorders, bone marrow damage, autoimmune disorders and immune deficiency.

High monocyte counts are associated with fungal infections, infections of the heart, collagen vascular diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and myelogenous leukemia, according to Lab Tests Online. High eosinophil counts are usually due to allergies, asthma, eczema, parasitic infections, drug reactions, coeliac disease and certain cancers. High basophil counts are associated with allergic reactions and inflammation. Low eosinophils and basophils are not medically significant.

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