Lymphocytes High – Causes, Signs, and Symptoms

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What are lymphocytes?

Lymphocytes are one of the several types of blood cells in the body. The white blood cell has a specific function to fight against various illnesses and diseases. These lymphocytes come under white blood cells.

The white blood cells play an essential role in building the immune system that helps the body fight against various bacteria, viruses and other toxins that enter the body and make a person sick.

How do lymphocytes work?

The bone marrow consistently produces cells that become lymphocyte and enters the bloodstream. Mostly they travel through the lymphatic system, which comprises tissues and organs like tonsils and lymph nodes protecting the body against infection.

A small portion of the lymphocytes remain in the bone marrow and become B cells, and the remaining large part of the lymphocyte cells travel to the thymus and become T cells.

The different kinds of B cells and T cells include

  • Effector cells activated by the antigen are in the body to fight infection.
  • Memory cells are present in the body for a while and able to recognise past infections and get into action quickly if the body is re-infected with the same antigen.

B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes work together to fight against infection in the body.

What is the role of B and T cells?

B lymphocyte cells recognise the antigen or foreign agents in the body and become plasma cells that produce antibodies to fight against them.

There are three major types of T lymphocyte cells, and they have their role to play.

  • Cytotoxic T cells
  • Helper T cells
  • Regulatory T cells

The cytotoxic T cells are killer cells that destroy the infected cells in the body with antigen and cancer cells.

The helper T cells alert other cells responsible for immune reaction and help with the immune response of the other cells to fight against infection in the body.

The regulatory T cells suppress the immune system and keep the response intact. These cells help prevent autoimmune diseases and fight against antigens like allergens and bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

What is Lymphocytosis?

Lymphocytosis or high lymphocyte count in the body means more lymphocytes in the blood. A temporary high lymphocyte count is normal and it indicates that the body is invaded by pathogens. 

Having a significant count in the blood means that the body is working to protect itself from germs or infections that make us sick.

Usually, Lymphocytosis is not a severe health condition, but for adults, it needs monitoring.

Having a high lymphocyte count means that there are 4000 or more lymphocytes in one micro-litre of blood.

What are the causes of Lymphocytosis?

Spike in the lymphocyte count in the blood means that the white blood cells are fighting against infection in the world that can make a person sick.

In some instances, a severe health condition like cancer can affect the blood lymphatic system and cause elevated lymphocyte levels in the body.

Many medical conditions can cause Lymphocytosis.


Lymphocytosis can occur as a result of viral infections. Pathogens like bacteria and parasites can cause an infection that can result in a high lymphocyte count in the body. Some of the viral or bacterial infections that can cause lymphocytosis include

Whooping cough, influenza, Ebstein Barr virus, hepatitis, chickenpox, HIV, and rubella.


In some instances, Lymphocytosis can be one of the symptoms of blood cancers or cancer in the lymphatic system. Cancer-associated lymphocytosis include

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, chronic lymphocytosis leukaemia and

Large granular lymphocyte leukaemia

Some of the other causes of Lymphocytosis include

Allergies to medicine, smoking, autoimmune diseases and stress-related health conditions.

What are the signs and symptoms of Lymphocytosis?

Lymphocytosis usually does not make a person exhibit any symptoms, yet they may experience symptoms caused by a spike in white blood cell count.

For example, the lymph nodes in the neck can swell up due to an infection causing Lymphocytosis.

A person can also feel fatigued and experience breathlessness when there is Lymphocytosis. Night sweats and loss of appetite can also indicate a high white blood cell count in the body.

Unexplained weight loss, fever and infections can also be a symptom of high lymphocytes.

Can Lymphocytosis be diagnosed?

Doctors mainly depend on the medical history and existing symptoms to identify Lymphocytosis. With the help of a physical examination and questions about an individual’s everyday habits and lifestyle, they check the high-risk factors of developing certain infections or STIs to know if Lymphocytosis can be developed.

A blood test is performed to check for the lymphocyte count in the body.

If the lymphocyte count is high, a doctor can access it to see if the spike is temporary. If the lymphocyte count remains high, then additional tests are prescribed, and a person is referred to a blood specialist for further diagnosis.

Then haematologist can prescribe a complete blood count test for cytometry to check if the lymphocytes are dangerous. They also can include a bone marrow biopsy to know the exact cause of Lymphocytosis.

Treatment of Lymphocytosis

Lymphocytosis treatment relies on resolving the cause of high lymphocyte count in the body. If the body produces more white blood cells to fight a joke, it may not require treatment.

If the spike in the white blood cells indicates cancer, it is vital to consider various treatment options with the doctor.

Receiving treatment can help the body restore the lymphocyte levels to normal.

Complications associated with Lymphocytosis

In some instances, Lymphocytosis indicates a specific type of blood cancer, like chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Lymphocytosis can indicate other health conditions, requiring further tests to rule out complications and make an accurate diagnosis of the course of this condition.

Anyone can have Lymphocytosis. This health condition is evenly spread across individuals irrespective of gender and age.

How is Lymphocytosis preventable?

Lymphocytosis cannot be prevented, but anyone can reduce the risk of developing the health conditions by taking various cells and preventing getting sick.

  • Eliminating physical contact with people who are infected with an infection
  • Avoid sharing personal items with people were sick.
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keeping the surfaces on commonly used items clean to avoid germs.

Is it essential to visit a doctor about lymphocytes?

Contacting a healthcare provider if there is a resistant infection or chronic symptoms is advised. A doctor will perform various examinations and provide proper treatment to manage the symptoms of Lymphocytosis.

To sum up

Lymphocytosis results from the body’s natural defence mechanism fighting against infection or other diseases. The white blood cells called in for size increase when the body’s immune system combats against foreign agents to keep the body healthy. Lymphocytosis is not preventable yet can be treated by addressing the symptoms caused by temporary high lymphocyte count in the body.


What are the side effects of high lymphocytes?

Tlymph nodes in the neck can swell up due to an infection causing Lymphocytosis. Lymphocytosis can be one of the symptoms of blood cancers or cancer in the lymphatic system.

How high lymphocytes is cause for concern?

High lymphocyte count is when there are more than 4000 or more cells per microlitre of blood.

Is there any problem with lymphocytes being high?

Suppose a doctor determines that the lymphocyte cell count is high in the body. In that case, it can be a symptom of an infection caused by a bacteria or virus, cancer or problem in the lymphatic system and an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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