How is a finding of leukocytosis used to confirm or exclude Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infectious mononucleosis (mono)?

Updated: Sep 20, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Most patients with EBV infectious mononucleosis have a mildly to moderately increased peripheral WBC count, usually in the range of 12-20,000 cells/µL. Leukocytosis is a nonspecific finding in medicine in general and in infectious disease in particular. Leukocytosis has importance in ruling out some other causes of heterophile-negative infectious mononucleosis. Leukopenia, rather than leukocytosis, is expected in patients with CMV, rubella, HHV-6, acute HIV, and anicteric hepatitis-related infectious mononucleosis. Patients with toxoplasmosis and pseudolymphoma usually have a normal rather than an elevated peripheral WBC count.


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