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Question About Human Biology - Eosinophils

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Raidergal2022 | 20:04 Tue 14th Nov 2023 | Body & Soul
5 Answers

I'm not sure if this is the place really to ask this but it's just a question about how cells work in the body I wondered if anyone with a knowledge on human biology knew. 

There's a type of white blood cell called the eosinophil which is often raised with conditions like asthma/allergies etc. I have chronic rhinosinitis with nasal polyps (it is apparantly mild on sinus ct scan) and my eosinophil count is always high ish at 0.5

However I know someone with larger/worse polyps plus asthma it affects their quality of life a lot and their eosinophil count is only 0.1 

If higher eosinophil count reflects more severe inflammation then how come one person can have a low count but severe symptoms but someone else can have a high account but milder sinus symptoms?



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The figures you've quote appear to be percentage counts, rather than absolute counts.  They'll only become meaningful when they're multiplied by the respective white blood cell counts, which could vary greatly between different people.

Question Author

Buenchico it seems to be a count, not percentage
0.5  10*9/L (normal range 0.0-0.4).

Upper range is quoted as 0.4 but I think the general population have less than 0.2

Aha!  The units help!

0.5 x 10^9 eosinophils per litre = 500 eosinophils per microlitre which, according to my link above, is considered to be the threshold for eosinophilia.  So it's a high count but, as it's only just on the threshold, not a particularly high one.

You need to note though that there are lots of factors with can affect the counts for individual people.  e.g. someone with a lower count than might otherwise be expected might have consumed alcohol, whereas someone with a high count might have a condition which is supplementary to the one which is under investigation.

Question Author

Yes your last point is also what I wondered about Buen. When they put people on biologics for inflammatory conditions (like asthma/polyps etc) they tend to use a threshold count of over 0.3 to determine if the person will respond. However said person could have high eosinophils due to a different reason like maybe they have a skin condition too or something. 

Im fairly sure my high count is due to my polyps/rhinitis as I live noticed on blood tests I had prior to developing this condition my eos count tended to be about 1.7 - 2.7

What causes eosinophilia? Many conditions cause your eosinophil counts to increase in your blood. Some conditions, like seasonal allergies, asthma and reactions to medications are very common, and often aren't very serious. Infections, especially from parasites, can also lead to eosinophilia.5 Dec 2022

yours is mod

as sqad might say - nothing to worry about

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