What are white blood cells?
White blood cells are the parts of blood that help the body fight infection. Also called leukocytes, they are made up of five different subtypes, called neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes and lymphocytes.
What causes benign white blood cell disorders?
Benign white blood cell disorders occur when:
- white blood cell count is low
- white blood cell count is high
- white blood cells are not functioning properly
What are some examples of benign white blood cell disorders?
Examples of disorders occurring when white blood cell count is low:
- neutropenia (low number of neutrophils in the blood)
- Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
- Kostmann syndrome (inherited disorder in which the blood lacks neutrophils)
Examples of disorders occurring when white blood cells malfunction:
- chronic granulomatous disease (inherited disorder in which immune system cells called phagocytes do not function properly)
- leukocyte adhesion deficiency (rare inherited disorder in which the white blood cells are unable to produce a protein called CD18that helps them travel to the site of an infection)
- myeloperoxidase deficiency (disorder in which the enzymes that help the immune system fight bacteria are deficient)
- Chediak Higashi syndrome (rare inherited disorder affecting the immune system)
Are benign white blood cell disorders common?
White blood cell disorders of lymphocytes and neutrophils are the most common. Disorders that involve monocytes and eosinophils are less common and disorders involving basophils are rare.
What are the symptoms of white blood cell disorders?
Symptoms associated with white blood cell disorders depend on the specific disorder.