Monocytes: the normal child

In an expanded analysis of blood always determine the number of monocytes. These shaped elements from the sort of white blood cells play a major role in the immune system, protecting the body against harmful factors. Quantitative indicators of these cells in the blood is different in adults and children.

The General idea

Monocytes are large white blood cells Mature, the formation of which occurs in the red bone marrow. In the bloodstream these corpuscles come in the not completely ripe. Monocytes circulate in the blood for approximately three days, then penetrate the tissues and organs. There is their transformation into macrophages – the «cell-eaters» of foreign substances.

Monocytes in macrophages engulf pathogens of various diseases (bacteria and other microorganisms), dead cells of body tissues, vermin or any part thereof, and partially resolves blood clots and tumor formation. The monocytes absorb the volume of material several times larger than their size. The greatest activity and usefulness of the immunity of monocytes showing the period of his immaturity, when they are in the bloodstream, coming from the bone marrow.

Functions of monocytes

  • Ensuring immunity – antimicrobial, antiviral, antiparasitic, anticancer, through the formulation of specific substances.
  • Phagocytosis (uptake) of foreign substances and dead cells that have become alien to the body.
  • Participation in the regenerative (rehabilitation) processes.
  • Participation in the process of hematopoiesis.

The rate of monocytes in the blood

In adults, blood should contain from 1 to 8% of monocytes of the total leukocytes. In children, the norms are different for different ages:

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  • immediately after birth, the norm is 3 to 12%;
  • aged from birth to two weeks of 5 – 15%;
  • from two weeks to a year 4 – 10%;
  • from one year to two years – 4 – 10%;
  • from two to 16 years 3 to 9%;
  • 16 years and older – 1 – 8%.

Percentage determines the relative number of monocytes (white blood cells). There is another indicator – the absolute number, expressing the content of the cells in one liter of blood. The norm of the absolute number of children from birth to 12 years ranges from 0.05 to 1.1 times 10 to the 9th degree per liter. At any deviation from normal values it is necessary to examine the child to determine the cause of the pathology.

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The increase in the level of monocytes in the blood

A high concentration of monocytes is called «monocytosis». Reasons may be various factors, which should identify:

  • the eruption or loss of primary teeth (rare);
  • any infectious disease (including severe disease, such as infectious mononucleosis and brucellosis);
  • endocarditis;
  • parasitic infestation (ascariasis, enterobiasis, opisthorchiasis, giardiasis, toxoplasmosis, and others);
  • infection of fungal diseases (fungal infections of various localization);
  • systemic autoimmune diseases (rheumatism, sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosus);
  • tuberculosis of any localization;
  • hematological diseases (acute leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease);
  • ulcerative colitis;
  • enteritis of any etiology;
  • syphilis;
  • toxic damage by tetrachlorethane and phosphorus.

The presence of a relative monocytosis in a child due to the inability of the body’s defense system to neutralize a huge number of foreign substances. Therefore, the cell protectors are produced in much greater than usual quantity.

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The presence of an absolute monocytosis often indicates already the disease, an individual peculiarity of a child, perhaps due to genetic reasons. Sometimes absolute monocytosis indicates the development of a very large number of cells in connection with the need for enhanced phagocytosis, for example, in severe infection. After clarification of the causes of monocytosis child requires a specific treatment.

The decrease in the level of monocytes in the blood

Low concentration of monocytes in the blood is called «monocytopenia». In children the most frequent reasons of this condition are associated with changes in the total blood picture. The monocytopenia may cause the following factors and diseases:

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  • traumatic injuries;
  • condition after undergoing surgery;
  • condition after chemotherapy;
  • condition after acute stress;
  • prolonged use of steroid (hormone) anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • aplastic anemia;
  • inflammatory foci in the body;
  • typhoid fever.
  • physical exhaustion;
  • a sharp drop in the immune forces of the body.

The complete absence of monocytes in the blood work tells about the life threatening condition that can occur in severe acute form of leukemia (not produced by monocytes) or sepsis (is the destruction of monocytes).