Absolute Eosinophil Count
What is AEC?
Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) is a blood test that measures the number of eosinophils in your body. Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cells (WBC) that become active in case of an infection, allergic disease, and drug reaction.
Eosinophils levels beyond normal can be indicative of an autoimmune disease, seasonal allergies, asthma, and parasitic infections. An abnormally low eosinophil count can be the result of intoxication from alcohol or excessive production of cortisol. The low levels of eosinophils are generally not a concern.
Why is AEC done?
The absolute eosinophil count is done:
In case of signs or symptoms such as red itchy eyes, coughing, nasal congestion, asthma, dermatitis, or abdominal pain which may suggest an allergy to one or more substances.
In the case of parasitic infections
In the early stages of Cushing’s disease
To diagnose the acute hypereosinophilic syndrome
What does AEC Measure?
The absolute eosinophil count measures the number of eosinophils present in the blood. Eosinophils, a type of white blood cells, helps in fighting the disease. These come into action for are said to be linked with certain infections and allergic diseases. The eosinophils are produced and mature in the bone marrow. They usually take about 8 days to mature and then are moved to blood vessels.
The eosinophils have varied functions which include the physiological role in organ formation such as the development of post-gestational mammary gland. Other functions include its movement to the areas of inflammation, trapping substances, killing cells, bactericidal and anti-parasitic activity. It also helps the treatment of immediate allergic reactions and modulation of inflammatory responses.
Interpreting AEC results
The absolute eosinophil count ranges from 0.02 - 0.50 thou/mm3.