What are white blood cell disorders?

Also known as: pediatric white blood cell disorders, white blood cell disorders in children.

White blood cells (also called leukocytes) are the cells in your blood that help your body fight off infection. There are a number of different types of white blood cells, each has a different role in fighting infection. Leukocytes are divided into:
  1. Myeloid components:
    • Neutrophils -fight bacteria and fungi.
    • Monocytes and macrophages are white blood cells that consume organisms.
    • Eosinophils/basophils play a role in allergic reactions and also kill parasites.
  2. Lymphoid type cells:
    • B cells, T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. These fight viral infections, play a role in the immune system and produce antibodies.

White cell problems arise from there being too many (leucocytosis), too few (leucopenia), or from the cells malfunctioning.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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