What may be indicated by leukocytosis or leukopenia in bacterial pneumonia?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Leukocytosis with a left shift may be observed in any bacterial infection. However, its absence, particularly in patients who are elderly, should not cause the clinician to discount the possibility of a bacterial infection.

Leukopenia (usually defined as a WBC count < 5000 cells/µL) may be an ominous clinical sign of impending sepsis.


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