Lower than normal lymphocyte counts due to PV

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Question from Paul:
I was diagnosed in 2013 with PV.  I recently discovered my lymphocyte counts are lower than normal. Is this common in PV, and are there any things that can be done to increase the count?

Answer from Dr. Leclair:
Do you mean the lymphocyte percentage (%) or the absolute lymphocyte count (ABS or #)?

If you mean percentage, then you can ignore it. PV typically has an increased number of granulocytes and because the differential looks at 100 only, the more of one cell type you see, the less of another cell type will be counted. If you mean the absolute count, then the result is due to the continued pressure in the bone marrow because of the PV. 

This is fairly common in PV and is really not an issue, because you still do have lots of lymphocytes. They are just not into the peripheral blood but probably in the spleen and other lymph nodes.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Have a question for the experts? Send them to questions@patientpower.info.

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Page last updated on April 25, 2019