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MD Lab Medicine, MBBS
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Total Leukocyte Count

Also known as White blood cell count, Leucocyte, TLC, TC, WBC Count, Total counts
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  1. No special preparation is required.

Understanding Total Leukocyte Count

What is Total Leukocyte Count?

A Total Leukocyte Count test measures the number of leukocytes, also known as white blood cells (WBCs), in the blood. This test helps detect infection, inflammation, and bone marrow disorders. It is often done as part of a complete blood count test that also measures other types of blood cells.

Leukocytes or WBCs are white-colored blood cells that are a part of the immune system and defend the body against infections and diseases. There are five types of WBCs, namely basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils, and each one supports the immune system differently. 

A decrease in the TLC count is referred to as leukopenia and indicates a decline in the body’s ability to fight infections. Whereas, an increase in TLC, known as leukocytosis, indicates acute infections and inflammation. Your doctor may advise a Total Leukocyte Count test if you show symptoms suggestive of an infection, inflammation, or other health conditions like bone marrow disorders. However, this test is followed up with other tests to determine the exact cause of the abnormal results. A TLC test is also used to monitor your response to medical treatments that can affect the immune system, including chemotherapy which is known to affect the number of leukocytes. No special preparation is needed for a TLC test; eat or drink normally as per your daily routine.

Test result ranges are approximate and may differ slightly between labs depending on the methodology and laboratory guidelines. The test results will help your doctor determine your medical condition, make recommendations for lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, decide whether or not medication will be required to manage your condition and formulate your overall treatment plan.

What is Total Leukocyte Count used for?

A Total Leukocyte Count test can be done:

  • As a part of routine checkups to monitor your overall health.

  • As a part of a complete blood count (CBC) test.

  • To help detect conditions that decrease WBC count, like bone marrow disorders.

  • To help detect infections and inflammation.

  • To monitor the response to certain medical treatments that can affect the immune system, including chemotherapy.

What does Total Leukocyte Count measure?

A Total Leukocyte Count test measures the numbers of all types of leukocytes, namely neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte, eosinophil, and basophil, in your blood. Leukocytes or WBCs are an essential part of our immune system. These cells are produced in the bone marrow and defend the body against infections and diseases. Each type of WBC plays a unique role to protect against infections and is present in different numbers.

Interpreting Total Leukocyte Count results


Normal range (Approx.):

·         Newborns: 9,000 to 30,000/mm3

·         Children below 2 years of age: 6,200 to 17,000/ mm3

·         Children over 2 years of age and adults: 5,000 to 10,000/ mm3

Note: Normal range of leukocyte count depends on several factors apart from age, including gender, health condition, previous instance of diseases, vaccinations, etc. The range also varies slightly between different laboratories performing the test.

A higher-than-normal leukocyte count indicates an infection or inflammation being treated by the body.

A lower-than-normal leukocyte count indicates improper functioning of the immune system.

Leukocyte Count Test is to be followed up with other tests to determine the exact cause of the abnormal results, if any.

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Total Leukocyte Count

Frequently Asked Questions about Total Leukocyte Count

Q. What is Leukocytosis?

Leukocytosis is a condition where the leukocyte count is higher than its normal range. This may occur due to infections; inflammation; or conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, cancers like leukemia, myeloproliferative neoplasms, or conditions causing necrosis (tissue death) like severe burns, trauma, surgery, etc. Other factors like cigarette smoking, surgical spleen removal, allergies, heavy physical exercise, pregnancy, or certain medicines like corticosteroids, epinephrine, heparin, lithium, etc., can also cause leukocytosis.

Q. What is leukopenia?

Leukopenia is a condition where the leukocyte count is lower than its normal range. This may occur due to bone marrow damage or disorders, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, blood cancers, or certain infections like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Q. In what conditions a doctor may suggest a TLC test?

Your doctor may suggest a TLC test for a wide range of health conditions such as infections, inflammation, and blood cancer, or if you are on certain immunosuppressive medications or treatments.

Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?

There is usually no risk associated with this test. However, some people may feel a slight sting while the needle is pricked and may experience some bleeding that is normal and usually not bothersome. Rarely some people may experience slight swelling or bruising at the site of the needle prick. Applying ice 3-4 times a day for about a week may help reduce swelling and bruising. If it does not get better, consult your doctor.
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Total Leukocyte Count test price for other cities

Price inBangaloreRs. 139
Price inKolkataRs. 139
Price inGurgaonRs. 139
Price inNoidaRs. 100
Price inHyderabadRs. 139
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