Friday, 3 June 2011


Hematology - what does it all mean?

Got my yearly health check results back this morning, it's all Greek to me. Time to do some research on the meanings of some of these acronyms and see if I fit inside the Japanese scales for "healthy".

If I fall outside of the recommended ranges I won't be panicking, last year I was told that I have "Metabolic Syndrome" and I should try eating more low-fat foods and exercising once or twice a week. I was eating smart, crossfitting 3 times a week and marathon training at the time and felt great.

ul stands for "per microlitre".
g/dl stands for "grams per decilitre.

WBC - 3300~9099/ul
I am 6100/ul - right in the middle of normal
White blood cells, also called leukocytes, defend the body against infection. They form in the bone marrow and consist of several different types and sub-types. On average, a healthy adult has between 4,000 and 11,000 white cells per cubic millimeter or microliter of blood. A high WBC count often means that an infection is present in the body, while a low number can mean that a specific disease or drug has impaired the bone marrow's ability to produce new cells. Most people with HIV have WBC counts at the low normal end of the range.

RBC - 430~570 for men, 380~500 for women x10^4/ul
I am 424x10^4/ul - just under normal
Red blood cells, also called erythrocytes, are responsible for delivering oxygen throughout the body. There are between 3.6 to 6.1 million red blood cells in a single cubic millimeter of blood. Anemia, a condition generally defined as a decreased number of red blood cells, can be caused by certain anti-HIV drugs or be a sign of an underlying illness. Women of child-bearing age may also experience anemia as a result of blood loss from their menstrual periods. One of the most common physical symptoms of anemia is fatigue.

Hb - 13.5~17.5g/dl for men, 11.5~15.0g/dl for women
I am 12.9g/dl - just under normal
Hemoglobin is a protein normally found within the RBCs that carries oxygen throughout the body. Normal hemoglobin levels range from 12 to 16 grams per deciliter of blood (g/dL). Healthcare providers usually keep track of the hematocrit and hemoglobin rather than the RBC count itself.

Ht - 39.7~52.4% for men, 34.8~45.0% for women
I am 41.7% - lower end of normal
Hematocrit measures the percentage of blood volume that is occupied by RBCs. Generally speaking, red blood cells should make up 40 to 52 percent of the total blood volume in men and 35 to 46 percent in women.

(I think the below is my WBC broken down into sub-categories.)
So my WBC is 6100/ul.
60.1% of that is 3.6661x10^9/L for Neutro-Seg
So, in a normal blood test about 60 % (or a little under two-thirds) of the white blood cells should be neutrophils. Lymphocytes should make up just under 30 % (or a little under one third).  The other white blood cells (monocytes, eosinophils and basophils) make up the rest. In total it should add up to 100 %.
Neutro-Pro - 1.5 to 7.5x10^9/L
I am 60.1% for N-seg + Seg meaning 3.6661x10^9/L and in the middle
Neutrophils (also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes, PMNs, or poly's for short) are WBCs that fight most bacterial infections. If the neutrophil count becomes too low, there is an increased risk of bacterial infections.

Eos - <0.41x10^9/L
I am 2.0% meaning 122x10^6 or 0.122x10^9/L
Eosinophils are involved in fighting certain parasitic infections and are sometimes elevated due to allergic reactions.
Bas - <0.11x10^9/L
The function of basophils is not well understood.
I am 0.3% meaning 18.3x10^6 or 0.0183x10^9/L
Lym - 1.0 to 4.0x10^9/L
Lymphocytes are the key WBCs involved in immune responses
I am 30.2% meaning 1,842.2x10^6 or 1.8422x10^9/L
Mon - 0.20 to 0.80x10^9/L
Monocytes play important roles in fighting certain types of infections by maturing into macrophages that can ingest bacteria and cellular debris.
I am 7.4% meaning 451.4x10^6 or 0.4514x10^9/L

Blood Platelets - 14.0~34.0x10^4/ul
Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are elements in the blood that are necessary for blood to clot. A normal platelet count is between 150,000 to 440,000 per cubic millimeter of blood.
I am 25.5x10^4  - in the middle of normal

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