What are Segmented Neutrophils?

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cells or leukocytes that are responsible for the defense and immunity of our body. These immune cells make up the highest percentage of white blood cells in the bloodstream and are classified into segmented neutrophils and band neutrophils.

These are created and stored in the bone marrow, and circulate in the blood when they are mature, at which time they are called segmented neutrophils.

Eosinophils and basophils are newly produced neutrophils in the bone marrow, to fight infections, which as they mature also become segmented. In all blood tests, apart from measuring the number of segmented neutrophils, the number of eosinophils and basophils is also measured.

When neutrophils reach full maturity, they have two or more different lobes in their nucleus, that is, they are segmented. This type of leukocytes are the first to travel to the site of infection, fighting viruses, bacteria and germs, responding to inflammatory stimuli. Likewise, they help fight infections because they engulf microorganisms and also because they exude enzymes that destroy them. Therefore, it is said that its main function is the phagocytosis of bacteria and fungi.

Generally, the segmented ones represent between 40 and 75% of the peripheral white blood cells.

Normal values

The normal values ​​of segmented neutrophils circulating in the blood are 1600 to 8000 per mm³ of blood.

Low segmented neutrophils

On the occasions when there are low segmented neutrophils, that is, there are less than 1,500 cells per microliter of blood, we are facing a condition called neutropenia.

When there is neutropenia, it is very likely that certain types of infections are caused, so strong hygiene measures are recommended.

The idea of ​​these measures is to prevent the spread of viruses or bacteria, avoiding contact with sick people. If we have neutropenia, we are unprotected and therefore, we are vulnerable to the spread of diseases.

On the other hand, diseases such as anemia or leukemia trigger neutropenia, compromising the immune system, so patients may need hospitalization and a lot of rest.

Conditions associated with neutropenia

Neutropenia can be due to the following conditions:

  • Anemias, whether aplastic, megaloblastic, or iron-deficient.
  • Leukemia.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Consumption of medicines.
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus.
  • Hepatic cirrhosis.

Babies less than three months old can suffer from neutropenia, caused by serious infections.

While children with Down syndrome are still healthy, they tend to have neutropenia.

High segmented neutrophils

When levels of high segmented neutrophils, that is to say that there are more than 8,000 cells per microliter of blood, we are facing a condition called neutrophilia.

Neutrophilia is a condition caused by infections or high levels of stress, which, additionally, shows that the body has developed an immune response to a foreign substance.

In many cases, when the level of neutrophils is high, this indicates that the person has, for example, a bacterial or fungal infection. For this reason, it is important to have blood tests to check the levels of segmented and if necessary, consult a specialist doctor.

Conditions associated with neutrophilia

Neutrophilia can be due to the following conditions:

  • Infections
  • Inflammatory diseases.
  • Mellitus diabetes.
  • Uremia.
  • Eclampsia during pregnancy.
  • Hepatic necrosis.
  • Bleeding
  • Burns.
  • Cancer.

Newborn babies can suffer from neutrophilia. Neutrophilia can also occur due to frequent vomiting, anxiety, stress, fear, or excessive physical activity.

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