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Approach to the adult with lymphocytosis or lymphocytopenia

Nancy Berliner, MD
Matthew S Davids, MD, MMSc
Section Editor
Stanley L Schrier, MD
Deputy Editor
Alan G Rosmarin, MD


Lymphocytes are white blood cells (WBCs) that facilitate humoral and cellular immunity against foreign proteins and pathogens. Abnormal increases or decreases in the lymphocyte count (lymphocytosis or lymphocytopenia) may reveal a transient infection or one of a number of other benign or malignant conditions.

This topic reviews our approach to evaluating an adult with lymphocytosis or lymphocytopenia. The evaluation of children with lymphocytosis or lymphocytopenia is presented separately. (See "Approach to the child with lymphocytosis or lymphocytopenia".)

Information on the evaluation of malignant conditions associated with lymphocytosis is presented separately:

CLL – (See "Clinical presentation, pathologic features, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia".)

T cell LGL – (See "Clinical manifestations, pathologic features, and diagnosis of T cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia".)

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 14, 2017.
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