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Absolute Basophil Count

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Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation is required.

Understanding Absolute Basophil Count

What is Absolute Basophil Count?

An Absolute Basophil Count test measures the number of basophils, a type of white blood cell, in the blood. This test helps identify health conditions, such as infection, inflammation, allergy, etc., in the body. It is often done as part of a complete blood count test that also measures other types of blood cells.

Basophils are a type of white blood cells (WBCs) called granulocytes. These blood cells make up less than 1% of all of your circulating WBCs. Basophils are the only WBCs circulating around your body that contain histamine. During an allergic reaction, histamine is released and it is responsible for symptoms of allergies, such as a runny nose or sneezing.

An Absolute Basophil Count test helps check triggering inflammatory reactions in the body. Inflammation is the body’s signal to the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissues as well as defend the body against foreign agents. A very high basophil count (basophilia) may signal that you have an infection or a more serious condition like leukemia or autoimmune disease. While a low basophil count (basopenia) could be the result of your basophils working overtime to attack an allergen or treat an infection that is taking longer than normal to heal. No special preparation is required for an ANC test; eat or drink as per your daily routine. 

Test result ranges are approximate and may differ slightly between different labs depending on the methodology and laboratory guidelines. Talk to your doctor about your specific test results. The results will help them determine your medical condition and formulate an overall treatment plan.

What is Absolute Basophil Count used for?

An Absolute Basophil Count test can be done:

  • As part of a complete blood count test to monitor your overall health.

  • To identify the cause of allergies, inflammation, or infections.

  • To detect diseases characterized by chronic inflammation.


What does Absolute Basophil Count measure?

An Absolute Basophil Count test measures the total number of basophils in the blood. Basophils are small, spherically-shaped cells that originate from bone marrow and make up almost 1% of the total white blood cells in the body. They attack a foreign substance and release proteins like histamine and heparin to destroy harmful substances, such as allergens, pathogens, or parasites. Histamine helps widen the blood vessels and make space for more immune cells to come to the site of infection or injury, whereas heparin acts as a blood-thinning agent and helps to avoid blood clotting at that site.

Interpreting Absolute Basophil Count results


The normal test result for Absolute Basophil Count ranges from 0 to 300 cells per microliter of blood for men and women of any age.

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Absolute Basophil Count

Frequently Asked Questions about Absolute Basophil Count

Q. What conditions can an ABC test detect?

An ABC test can help identify certain infections, inflammatory or allergic conditions, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and other blood cancers.

Q. How is an ABC test done?

An ABC test is done using a sample of blood that is withdrawn from a patient’s vein. The blood sample is collected in a vial and sent to the lab for analysis.

Q. Is there any risk associated with an Absolute Basophil Count test?

There is no risk associated with an ABC test. However, as a needle is used to prick and collect your blood sample, you may experience bleeding, swelling, or blood collection under the skin, which is usually self-limiting.

Q. What is the meaning of abnormal basophil count?

An abnormal basophil count means that your basophil count is outside the normal range. If the basophil count is unusually high, it is called basophilia, and if the count is low, it is called basopenia.

Q. How to treat high or low basophil count?

The appropriate treatment for a high or low basophil count will depend on the underlying cause. However, in some cases, additional testing may be needed to determine the underlying cause and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
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