White cell count (WCC)

Last updated: Friday, 02, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in EDTA.

2 mL blood in special paediatric EDTA tube.

Method

Part of FBC; all nucleated cells counted.

The count is corrected for nucleated red cells if present.

Reference Interval

Neonate: 6.0-22.0 x 109/L

Child
1 year: 6.0-18.0 x 109/L 
4-7 years: 5.0-15.0 x 109/L
8-12 years: 4.5-13.5 x 109/L

Application

Possible infection, inflammatory disease, bone marrow failure, haematological or other malignancy.

Monitoring drugs with potential or predictable bone marrow toxicity.

Interpretation

Depends on white cell differential. See White cell count differential.

Reference

Bain BJ. Blood Cells - A Practical Guide. 2nd ed. Blackwell Science 1995.