Absolute Monocyte Count

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Age group

7 years & above

The human body has five types of white blood corpuscles (WBC). These are responsible for maintaining the immune system. Among these, monocytes are the largest types of WBCs. Monocytes play a significant role in protecting the body from harmful particles. When bacteria or other harmful microorganisms enter the body, these cells transform into macrophages or dendritic cells. This means the monocytic macrophages surround the microorganism and engulf it, stimulating the other immunity cells.

The monocyte cell helps protect the body against viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. It also eradicates the infected cells. Even in injury and infection prevention, these cells are crucial. The monocytes originate from the bone marrow and enter the body's other tissues via your bloodstream. Monocytes can be of two types:

  • Macrophages: These cells are the first to reach against a germ entering the body.  
  • Dendritic cells: These are the cells that act as a backup and alert the other cells of the immune system. 

Monocytes are not just the biggest white blood cells but even bigger than the red blood cells (RBCs).

They are very easy to detect under a microscope and consist of a two-bodied nucleus or bilobed nuclei centre. Depending on the movement of the cell within the body, the monocyte can take various shapes, like: 

  • A kidney bean
  • An indented or lopsided circle
  • A horseshoe

The monocyte count in the body needs to be in the normal range for the proper functioning of the person. A higher count can be associated with chronic infections and is known as monocytosis. On the other hand, a lower count of monocytes is called monocytopenia. Both cases can be harmful and cause infections and even cancer.

Absolute monocytes or ABS monocytes can give the exact measurement of the monocyte cells. The absolute monocyte count (AMC) test helps determine the actual monocyte count in the blood. Your doctor can prescribe this test depending on early diagnosis or as part of a routine checkup. Usually, doctors recommend this test when they suspect specific signs and symptoms, like autoimmune diseases or infections. The test is also highly effective in diagnosing diseases like brucellosis, tuberculosis, etc.

You can book the test from Apollo 24|7 and get the sample collected and the test report delivered from the convenience of your home. When you book the Absolute Monocyte Count test, a lab technician will visit you to collect the blood sample. A small amount of blood will be drawn from the vein in your arms using a needle. The process might be slightly painful, but you do not need to be too concerned as the pain goes away in a few hours.

Afterward, the sample blood is stored in a sterile vial to avoid contamination and sent to the lab for testing. Absolute Monocyte Count is calculated by multiplying the monocyte percentage in the complete blood count (CBC) by the total WBC number in that count. The range should be within 2 and 8% in a healthy individual. If it is higher or lower than this, your doctor will begin the diagnosis and treatment accordingly.

Usually, the Absolute Monocyte Count helps unravel some other underlying health conditions beyond the low or high monocyte number. There are no special preparations needed for the test. However, if it is conducted as part of the complete blood count, there would be other blood tests simultaneously. In such cases, your doctor may ask you to fast overnight before the sample taking. 

faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In a blood test, absolute or ABS monocytes refer to the monocyte count. This is a measurement that allows the identification of the number of monocytes present in the blood. This is part of the Absolute Monocyte Count test. It is calculated by multiplying the percentage of monocytes from CBC by the total number of WBC.
A high absolute monocyte count means when the monocyte count is more than 2%-8% of the total WBC count. This can be determined with the Absolute Monocyte Count test. Usually, men have a higher monocyte count than women. Although a high ABS monocyte count is not necessarily fatal, it is often associated with some other underlying infections. For instance, when infected with an autoimmune disease, the body produces higher monocytes.
A low-level Absolute Monocyte Count can be detected via the Absolute Monocyte Count test. This is when the monocyte count in the body is less than the normal range. Under this condition, the patient becomes more prone to infectious diseases. Not only the absolute monocytes but the overall WBC count drops. This can happen due to chemotherapy, medications, and even certain infections.
Having too many monocytes can give birth to many symptoms of CMML or Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia. It is a type of blood cancer and is considered to be one of the myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). The result can be enlarging of organs, like the liver or spleen, which is called splenomegaly.
A low monocyte count is called monocytopenia, where the circulating number of monocytes reduces to less than 0.2x109/L. The disorder may not show prominent signs or symptoms always. But the underlying conditions, like fatigue and recurring fever, can be a sign. Only your doctor can diagnose the issue properly and provide treatment.
Various health complications and infections, like blood disorders, mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, leukaemia, and lymphoma, can reduce the monocyte count in the blood. Monocyte count can also decrease due to autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results