What does a white blood cell count test tell?

White blood cells are measured in the number per microliter, and a “normal” count is generally a range. Different laboratories might use different ranges. In general, the normal range for men is 5,000-10,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. For women who are not pregnant, the range is 4,500-11,000 white blood cells per microliter. For children, the range is 5,000-10,000.

A type of test called a white blood cell differential (sometimes called a “diff”) might be done at the same time as the other blood tests. This test classifies the different kinds of white blood cells, which all have different jobs in keeping us healthy.

There are five main types of white blood cells:

  • Neutrophils (also called segs, PMNs, granulocytes, or grans)
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes
  • Eosinophils
  • Basophils

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