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The increase and decrease in the number of segmented neutrophils in the blood can indicate what is happening in the body. In the case of an infection, for example, the number of targets may be increased as the immune system is working to fight the infection. However, the number of segmented neutrophils can be reduced in stress situations, mainly, with a decrease not only in the segmented ones, but also in the other white blood cells.
Segmented neutrophils are cells responsible for the body's defense and are found in greater quantities in the blood when compared to other neutrophils.
High segmented neutrophils
The increase in the amount of segmented neutrophils in the blood is called neutrophilia and occurs when the amount of segmented neutrophils is greater than 8000/µL, or according to the maximum value established by the laboratory, which may occur due to some situations, such as for example:
- Infections caused by fungi, viruses or bacteria;
- Fast-growing tumors, such as those in the digestive tract or liver;
- Use of some medications, such as corticosteroids, for example;
- Insect bites;
- After intense physical activity;
- After surgery.
Furthermore, an increase in the number of segmented neutrophils can occur during delivery and in newborns a few days after delivery.It is up to the physician to evaluate the blood count as a whole, in addition to the results of other tests requested, to verify the cause of the increase in segmented neutrophils and, thus, indicate the appropriate treatment. Learn about some other causes of increased neutrophils.
Low segmented neutrophils
The decrease in the number of segmented neutrophils in the blood is called neutropenia and occurs when the value is below 1600/µL, or according to the minimum value determined by the laboratory.
Decrease in segmentation can happen due to changes in bone marrow activity, neonatal infection by viruses or bacteria, during chemotherapy treatment, alcoholism and autoimmune diseases, for example.
The reference value of segmented neutrophils is indicated on the leukogram, which is one of the parts of the hemogram that analyzes only white blood cells, that is, lymphocytes and neutrophils, including segmented neutrophils.The reference value of segmented neutrophils can vary between laboratories, however values between 1600 and 8000/µL or 35 to 66%, approximatelycan be considered normal. Learn more about the leukogram.