What is the role of WBC count in the evaluation of nosocomial pneumonia?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Burke A Cunha, MD; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Answer

The WBC count may be normal or elevated in nosocomial pneumonia or disorders that mimic nosocomial pneumonia/ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). A left shift reflects the stress and neither rules out nor confirms infection. The degree of left shift indicates the degree of stress in the host. Neither leukocytosis nor a normal WBC count favors the diagnosis of nosocomial pneumonia over the diseases that mimic nosocomial pneumonia, as these can produce similar elevations.


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