What Does It Mean If Monocytes Are High?


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Luke Wilcox Profile
Luke Wilcox answered
High monocyte levels can be a response to infections of all kinds, inflammatory disorders and certain malignant disorders.

Monocytes are large, circulating white blood cells that absorb and engulf foreign bodies, harmful microorganisms and waste material. They constitute around 3% of the white blood cells in humans.

High monocytes can be caused by chronic inflammation. This may be as the result of an infection, such as tuberculosis or malaria, a malignancy, such as certain leukaemias, or a blood and immune cause, such as chronic neutropenia.

Labs will typically run other tests when a monocyte count is requested. This will help to identify the cause. Patients should discuss the results with their doctor. A high monocyte count is not necessarily a cause for great concern. 

The diagnosis and treatment for high monocytes involves finding the underlying cause and, if possible, addressing it. For example, if your monocytes are high because of inflammation caused by a viral infection, the treatment would be for the virus, thereby reducing the inflammation and the monocyte count.

Monocytes are made in the bone marrow and spread through the body in 1-3 days. They typically move into the tissues. They play multiple roles in immune function. Monocytes can develop into either macrophages or dendritic cells. Macrophages attack any foreign material, such as a virus or bacteria, and consume it so that it can cause no further damage. Dendritic cells help to identify dangerous toxins or other foreign substances.

A monocyte count can either be expressed as a ratio or as an absolute number. Both are useful in determining or ruling out a possible diagnosis. Your doctor is the best person to consult, as he/she will have access to your medical history.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
That there is an infection either bacterial or viral
Of course there can be more serious things but that is not the rule actually very rare
You should always go to the doctor with your results and do not get scared from wrong answers you have read on the net.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My lab test came back showing my monocyte level to be 11.4 H. Do I have reason to be concerned. The doctor never mentioned anything about it.

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