Increased red blood cells in a child: causes

As you know, any increase or decrease in the concentration of cellular elements per unit volume is either relative, or absolute. In children, in connection with the unsteady system of cellular and humoral immunity, as well as growth and development of organ systems and tissues may have different status. The increase in red blood cells in a child called «polycythemia». Today we will talk about the causes of this condition.

Polycythemia is found not only in children but also in adults. But it is in the child’s system there are some processes that adults do not occur. These processes are normal (physiological). For example, it occurs with lymphocytes, whose number of children is significantly different from that of adults, and over time gradually decreases.

Why you need red blood cells?

Erythrocytes constitute the bulk of blood cells. They are highly specialized, do not have nuclei, their main task is to transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and pick up carbon dioxide from them. Thus, the red blood cells provide cellular respiration.
The normal number of red blood cells in a child is from 3.9 to 5.9 millionMKL at birth, then their number is slightly reduced at the month-old baby the normal value of 3.3. The upper limit of normal, which then starts polycythemia is a 4.9 (from one year to 12 years) and from 5.3 millionMKL babies aged from 6 months to a year.

The absolute and relative status and normal

If blood baby increased red blood cells, you should not panic, but we need to analyze this situation. There are absolute and relative versions of the polycythemia.

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  • Relative polycythemia is a condition in which «think» of red blood cells was a lot. In fact, just the liquid part of blood (plasma) as their «solvent» was not enough. This can happen, for example, during dehydration, after the enteritis or other intestinal infections.
  • Absolute or true polycythemia is a condition in which there is an increased level of RBC production in red bone marrow. This process is alarming pediatricians and hematologists, most of all, because of the increase in the number of red blood cells may indicate certain diseases and disorders in the body of the baby.

You should start with the General analysis of blood. Study of quantity of erythrocytes, their structure, degree of maturity, the amount of hemoglobin, the hematocrit (ratio of liquid and cell parts) – these are all very important indicators, which can be determined by conventional blood test.

The reasons for the increased number of red blood cells

The most significant reasons for true polycythemia, occurring in childhood, include:

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  • The erythremia (true polycythemia, or illness Wekesa). This is a condition in which the bone marrow produces too many blood cells. Increased number of all types of blood cells: lymphocytes, monocytes, white blood cells, including erythrocytes. As a result of developing blood clots that can lead to the development of thrombotic complications: heart attacks and strokes even at an early age.
  • Chronic hypoxia in diseases of the lungs, which often develops on the background of chronic bronchial obstruction. It leads to frequent bronchitis and pneumonia, asthma, and polyvalent drug Allergy.
  • Congenital heart defects occur with insufficiency of the pulmonary circulation. Such evils include the «blue» violations. Considered the most severe tetralogy of Fallot, Ebstein’s anomaly. At the same time developing pronounced cyanosis (cyanosis) of skin, talking about hypoxia. Among the «white» of heart defects, too, there are violations in which elevated hemoglobin along with red blood cells, for example, with isolated pulmonary stenosis.
  • A hypernephroma is a malignant neoplasm of the kidney. Which is quite rare. Production of red blood cells is associated with generation of a large number of erythropoietin – stimulating substances, their development in red bone marrow. And just erythropoietin is produced by tumor cells vaginal cancer.
  • The disease Itsenko-Kushinga (which increases the production of adrenocortical hormones or corticosteroids).
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Causes of relative polycythemia following:

  • loss of electrolytes (vomiting, diarrhea);
  • excessive sweating, being in a hot climate;
  • burn disease where there is loss of blood plasma and proteins through the surface of burn wounds; the increased content of erythrocytes per unit volume indicates a decrease in the total amount of fluid in the blood.

Symptoms of polycythemia

It is important to know what appears high content of respiratory cells in the blood. The most common symptoms of true polycythemia are:

  • the plethora – specific red – purple, with a bluish tint colouring the skin;
  • possible enlargement of the spleen, because it is «the cemetery of erythrocytes» and has an overload condition;
  • the development of early and resistant hypertension, which usually occurs when renal options for the development of polycythemia;
  • itchy skin, headaches.

But there is such a condition when the increase in the number of erythrocytes in adults and in children is physiological and can even be used for training of the body. For example, when staying in the highlands need to better extract oxygen from the air, because its partial pressure decreases with increasing height. Therefore, during the acclimatization in the mountains occurs a compensatory physiologic polycythemia, which allows you to avoid the symptoms of altitude sickness.