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Absolute Monocyte Count

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Understanding Absolute Monocyte Count

What is Absolute Monocyte Count?

An Absolute Monocyte Count test measures the number of monocytes, a type of white blood cell, in the blood. This test is a key indicator of infections, inflammatory diseases, autoimmune disorders, bone marrow disorders, and other conditions affecting monocytes. It is often done as part of a complete blood count test that also measures other types of blood cells.

Monocytes play an important role in the immune system’s defense against infections, maintenance of tissue homeostasis, and cell repair. These cells help destroy pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and other dead cells; regulate immune system response by promoting or suppressing the inflammation in the body; contribute to tissue repair and wound healing; and guard against any signs of infection or abnormal cellular activity. 

An Absolute Monocyte Count test helps identify underlying infections, inflammatory conditions, immune system disorders, etc. A high AMC may suggest chronic infections, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases, or certain types of cancer. On the other hand, a low AMC may suggest bone marrow disorders, viral infections, or a weak immune system. No special preparation is required for an AMC 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 your overall treatment plan.

What is Absolute Monocyte Count used for?

An AMC test can be done:

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

  • To detect infections, inflammatory diseases, autoimmune disorders, bone marrow disorders, certain cancers, etc. 

  • To detect genetic disorders associated with the low number of monocytes (monocytopenia), such as monomac syndrome.

  • To monitor certain genetic abnormalities, such as lipid storage disease, that may affect the function of monocytes, leading to a buildup of fatty (lipid) debris within the cells.

What does Absolute Monocyte Count measure?

An Absolute Monocyte Count test measures the total number of monocytes in the blood. Monocytes are a type of WBC that originate from bone marrow and travel to different tissues via the blood. Once they are inside the tissue, these cells get converted to macrophages (a type of cell that digest harmful substances). Monocytes are the second line of defense mechanism of the human body after neutrophils. These cells are also responsible for the removal of injured or dead cells, microorganisms, and other insoluble particles from the blood. 

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Absolute Monocyte Count

Q. Which diseases can an AMC test detect?

An AMC test can identify diseases or medical conditions in which monocyte count gets affected, such as infection, inflammation, aplastic anemia, leukemia, etc.

Q. How is an AMC test done?

An AMC 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 AMC test?

There is no risk associated with this test. However, as a needle is used to prick and take out your blood sample, you may experience bleeding, swelling, or blood collection under the skin, which is usually self-limiting. Consult your doctor if these symptoms do not subside.

Q. What are the reasons for a high monocyte count?

The reasons for a high monocyte count could be infections, chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, or treatments such as radiotherapy.

Q. What are the reasons for a low monocyte count?

The reasons for a low monocyte count could be physical stress due to surgery or trauma infections, bone marrow disorders, chemotherapy, etc.
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