There are 5 types of white blood cells and one amongst these types are neutrophils which play an important role in the response of the immune system against free radicals and antigens. One sure way to know the number of neutrophils in the blood is the Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC). Let us know what is absolute neutrophils blood test and why one needs this test?
What Is The ANC Test?
ANC test is part of Complete Blood Count (CBC) test and focuses on knowing how many neutrophils are present in the white blood cells. This test isn’t directly measured and is calculated by the % of neutrophils present in the differential WBC count.
Why Is The ANC Test Done?
This test gives the doctor key clues about one’s health. As said above it is recommended as part of the complete blood count (CBC) with differential. CBC can also count lymphocyte levels if there are low lymphocytes it is called lymphocytopenia or lymphopenia. In case there are high lymphocytes the condition is called lymphocytosis.
This ANC test may be needed;
- To screen multiple health conditions
- To aid in finding out a condition
- To monitor the status if one has an existing ailment or if one is going through chemotherapy
- If the ANC isn’t normal, a GP may repeat the test many times spread over weeks to monitor changes in the neutrophil count.
The presence of high neutrophils is known as neutrophilia and presence of low neutrophils is the condition of some ongoing health treatment such as chemotherapy or lesser immune system.
Absolute Neutrophil Count Normal Range
The absolute neutrophil count in any healthy person is somewhere between 2,500 and 6,000. However, one should also bear in mind that every lab has its own set of defining a normal range. Normal ranges will also differ from gender to gender and age to age.
Absolute Neutrophil Blood Test Low
An absolute neutrophil blood test that is low indicates neutropenia and this is the result of having too few neutrophils. However, 1 single blood test that shows a low count of neutrophils does not necessarily indicate one has neutropenia. The levels can differ each day when tested, so repeated tests may be needed.
Causes Of Low ANC Levels
There are ‘n’ number of causes that lead to this situation. The cause may be destruction, lessened manufacturing, or unusual storing of neutrophils.
The other reasons include;
- Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Drugs used for overactive thyroid like methimazole and propylthiouracil
- Certain antibiotics like vancomycin, oxacillin, and penicillin G
- Antiviral drugs like ganciclovir and valganciclovir
- Anti-inflammatory medications for ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Some antipsychotic medicines like clozapine and chlorpromazine
- Drugs to treat irregular heart rhythms
- Infections such as chickenpox, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and so on
- Autoimmune diseases like Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Lupus, and Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bone marrow disorders such as Aplastic anemia, Myelodysplastic syndromes, and Myelofibrosis
- Additional causes include Kostmann’s syndrome, chronic idiopathic neutropenia, vitamin deficiencies, and spleen abnormalities.
Tips To Increase ANC Levels
Eating foods rich in vitamin B-12 is important. Take foods such as eggs, meat, fish, dairy products and chicken.
As part of lifestyle do not over exercise and keep stress in limits. It is also very vital to treat chronic conditions at the earliest.
Absolute neutrophil blood test High
If your ANC test is high it means there are more neutrophils than needed, which is known as neutrophilic leukocytosis also called neutrophilia.
Causes of high ANC levels
- Tobacco usage
- Genetic conditions
- Increased making in the bone marrow
- Emotional or physical stress
- Inflammatory bowel disease
How To Maintain Normal ANC Levels?
Irrespective of whether you have a high count or low count the best way to maintain normal ANC levels is to address the base reason for the condition.
Tips To Maintain Normal ANC Count
- Follow a healthy diet
- Be stress-free
- Do not strain the body too much
- Eat more protein and vitamin C foods
To conclude, having a healthy count of neutrophils in the bone marrow and blood is very important for the proper working of one’s immune system.
People having significantly changed neutrophil count may at times be hospitalized too to avoid further complications. Hope you now know what is an absolute neutrophils blood test and how important it is.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.