07-02-2008, 03:54 PM
Hey there -
Hope everyone is having a "good" day...Well, my new rheumie is on vaca for 10 days, but I received my blood work results in the mail today. A letter was attached to one regarding my elevated CRP (range is 0-3) Mine was 10. That pretty high for a CRP, mine usually hovers around 5-6 or so. The letter told me to contact the doctor as soon as he gets back from vacation. ALL autoimmune tests were NEG (of course). I also had REALLY low lymph (range 25-50) Mine was 7. and an elevated white cell count. Neutrophils was high. I cant believe it, but my sed rate was NORMAL! Its been a while that thats happened. Steroids, maybe? I am not anemic anymore, either, just borderline, which is good for me.
Do any of these tests indicate lupus? It doesnt really matter now (Thank God - my life would hang in the balance in the past waiting for theses tests) as I have been Dxd and am being treated for lupus, but Im just curious.
I would appreciate any answers, if anyone feels like answering....Thanks in advance -
PS - Ive been on prednisone for about 5 weeks now - if that makes any difference. Just curious - thanks again....
07-02-2008, 09:16 PM
The c-reactive protein, also known as a CRP test measures the level of a specific protein in your blood called c-reactive protein. This protein is produced by the liver and signals acute inflammation. This test is non-specific, a high CRP indicates inflammation but not the cause or location. This test is used in conjunction with other tests to diagnose Lupus and to monitor disease activity.
LYMPHOCYTES, NEUTROPHILS, WHITE CELL COUNT:
The lymphatic system is composed of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs. The functions of this system include the absorbtion of excess fluid and its return to the blood stream, absorption of fat (in the villi of the small intestine) and the immune system function.
Lymph organs include the bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus. Bone marrow contains tissue that produces lymphocytes. B-lymphocytes (B-cells) mature in the bone marrow. T-lymphocytes (T-cells) mature in the thymus gland. Other blood cells such as monocytes and leukocytes are produced in the bone marrow. Lymph nodes are areas of concentrated lymphocytes and macrophages along the lymphatic veins.The immune system is associated with defense against disease-causing agents, problems in transplants and blood transfusions, and diseases resulting from over-reaction (autoimmune, allergies) and under-reaction
White blood cells known as lymphocytes arise from by mitosis of stem cells in the bone marrow. Some lymphocytes migrate to the thymus and become T cells that circulate in the blood and are associated with the lymph nodes and spleen. B cells remain in the bone marrow and develop before moving into the circulatory and lymph systems. B cells produce antibodies.
There are tests that examine the body and lymph system. The following tests and procedures may be used: Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of your health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
A) Complete blood count (CBC)measures the total number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets: A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
* The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
* The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
* The portion of the sample made up of red blood cells.
A standard CBC report shows the total number of white blood cells with a breakdown of the percentages of granulocytes (neutrophils), lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils.Although the report gives the percentage of lymphocytes, the absolute number of lymphocytes per cubic centimeter of blood is often more helpful. The absolute lymphocytes count is calculated by multiplying the total white blood cell count times the percentage of lymphocytes.
Normal lymphocyte percentage has a wide range, 15 percent to 40 percent. If your total white-blood-cell count is normal at 6,000 and your lymphocyte percentage is also normal at 16 percent, your absolute lymphocyte count is 960. This is considered low, but it may still be normal for you, meaning that if you are healthy and not taking any medications that might lower the count, your ability to fight infection should not be impaired because of the absolute lymphocyte number. A low lymphocyte count can suggest viruses that attack the immune system or a malfunctioning immune system. low lymphocyte count is called lymphocytopenia. If that number is consistently less then 1,000 lymphocytes per microliter of blood, then this defines true lymphocytopenia. If true lymphocytopenia is present, my thought would be that it could be due to corticosteroid (prednisone) therapy, cancer chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or a chronic viral infection. But the list of possibilities is even longer.
Neutrophils and lymphocytes are two major types of white blood cells and all help fight infection. Neutrophils are really good at fighting bacteria quickly. Neupogen and neulasta help produce more neutrophils. This is what the docs care about most when they say "low white count." I think normal neutrophils is above 5000, but it only gets dangerous below around 500. High neutrophils can be due to all sorts of things, including a recent neupogen or neulasta shot. Sometimes it can mean a bacterial infection, but our systems are so messed up due to both the Lupus and the treatments, that this is certainly not a given.
Lymphocytes are much better at fighting viral infections and anything you've been vaccinated against or been infected with before. Low lymphocyte levels are much less worrisome than low neutrophils. Don't know what would make them low, but sometimes the body just regulates the total cell number like a thermostat. If you have extra of one cell type, you wind up with fewer of another.
ELEVATED WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT:
White blood cells (leukocytes) help fight infection in your body. A normal white blood cell count is between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per microliter. A high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) isn't a specific disease. But it may indicate an underlying problem that requires medical evaluation. The most common cause of elevated white blood cell count is due to infection. However, with reference to the WBC in Lupus diagnosis, inflammation can influence white blood cell counts and Lupus is a disease that causes inflammation in our tissues, muscles and organs.
I hope that I've answered your question :lol:
Peace and Blessings
07-03-2008, 06:43 AM
Saysusie had really good advice. I also carry a high CRP and sedrate at times. My whitecells, Lymphocytes are often times low too. My doctor does not seem to concerned about the CRP though and he tells me that the medication is working. I would bring it to your doctors attention though. Let us know what the doctor says ok. Hugs,
07-03-2008, 08:02 AM
Thanks ladies -
I was pleased to notice my red cell count is normal - I think thats the first time in years...its always really low. The letter said the doc thought the high white cell count is due to steroids, but Ill see what my rheumie thinks when I see him at the end of the month.
As you all know, I am "seronegative" lupus, and my old neurologist always said my blood was not showing what was actually going on in my body. I remain grateful, daily, that despite ANY numbers on any blood test, I am being listened to and, more importantly, treated for this disease. It truly has changed my life, and I am so happy to be back in the land of the "living" again. My symptoms are mostly under control, and that is a true blessing after this last flare...it was a doosie!
Thank you all for the time and effort you put in to answering the "rookie's" questions here. You have no idea how much you all help me on a daily basis
Love and gratitude...
07-03-2008, 12:07 PM
I am really glad that you are doing a lot better and that the medications are helping you. I hope that you remain in remission for a very long time. I go in and out of remission, but then again I have had Lupus for most of my life. Like you for many years I believe that I was seronegative as well. God Bless,