What causes the appearance of immature granulocytes in the blood of a person?


White blood cells or leukocytes are the most important part of the human immune system. Most of the white blood cells are granulocytes. They are called so because they contain granules in the cytoplasm. There is another name - granular white blood cells.


  • Types of granulocytes
  • Functions of granulocytes
  • Stages of granulocyte development
  • Clinical blood test
  • Norm and deviations from it
  • Immature granulocytes are elevated
    • Physiological causes
    • Pathological causes
  • Immature granulocytes lowered
  • Treatment

Types of granulocytes

Granular leukocytes are divided into three types:

  • neutrophils;
  • eosinophils;
  • basophils.

The first species is the most numerous, their number reaches 70% of the total number of white blood cells. Eosinophils account for about 5%. The smallest group is basophils. Normally, their content does not exceed 1%.


The granulocyte size ranges from 9 to 13 micrometers.

Bazofil in the bloodstream

Functions of granulocytes

The white blood cells of each of these species have their own specific functions.

  1. The main task of neutrophils is to protect the body from the harmful effects of fungal and bacterial infections. They show little activity with respect to viruses and do not protect against helminths and tumor cells.
  2. Eosinophils actively fight parasites: helminths, trichinella, ascarids, schistosomes and others.
  3. Basophils are mainly involved in allergic reactions, are active against helminths.
Stab neutrophils in the blood

Stages of granulocyte development

Granular leukocytes are produced by the bone marrow. From it, they migrate to the bloodstream, and then into the tissue. During its short life, granular white blood cells undergo various stages of development. Depending on this, granulocytes are classified as immature, not fully mature and mature.

  1. What is immature granulocytes? These are granular leukocytes at the stage of maturation (myeloblasts - promyelocytes - myelocytes - metamyelocytes), normally located in the bone marrow.
  2. In the next stage of development, immature granulocytes turn into incompletely mature or stab-forming granulocytes. The name is caused by the fact that the nucleus of the cell stretches, acquiring a horseshoe shape.
  3. At the final stage of maturation, the nucleus is segmented, and the granulocytes become mature or segmented.

Clinical blood test

The absolute and relative content of immature and mature granular leukocytes is determined by a clinical blood test.

  1. Blood sampling for analysis is done from the finger, in some cases, when an extensive study is required, it is done from the vein.
  2. The sample is taken in the morning, on an empty stomach. Eating leads to an increase in the white blood cell count, so you can not have breakfast, but not yet It is recommended to eat fat heavy food, alcoholic drinks on the day preceding the fence blood. In the morning you can drink water, but not soda.
  3. If it is a question of babies, then feeding should be carried out at least an hour and a half before the procedure.
  4. If a person takes medication, and you can not take a break in their reception, you need to inform the treating doctor.

A clinical blood test can tell a lot to a specialist. Considerable interest in this plan is the amount of unripe granulocytes in the blood test.

Norm and deviations from it


Speaking about the norm, immature granulocytes in the blood of an adult healthy person should be absent. Their presence in the blood of newborns and pregnant women is considered normal.

  1. Childbirth represents the greatest stress for a baby, who has to leave a safe habitual environment and enter a new world. The body responds to stress by a surge in the content of immature granulocytes in the blood of the child.
  2. At women at pregnancy there are huge hormonal changes in an organism. Among other things, the number of leukocytes in the blood increases. The maximum content of white blood cells reaches at the thirtieth week of pregnancy. The growth of leukocytes is due to their increased production, respectively, and an increase in the number of immature granulocytes is noted. The norm is 3% of immature granulocytes in the blood of pregnant women.

In all other cases, deviations from the norm of immature granulocytes indicate some or other disturbances in the functioning of the organism.

Immature granulocytes are elevated

The norm is exceeded due to circumstances having either a physiological character or a pathological one.

Physiological causes

  1. Elevated young leukocytes can be during menstruation.
  2. Growing the number of immature granulocytes may be due to severe psychoemotional stress.
  3. Large physical exertion can also lead to an increase in the level of immature granulocytes in the blood.
  4. Finally, a deviation from normal can cause abundant food before giving blood for analysis.

Pathological causes

The appearance of immature granulocytes in the blood speaks primarily of the fact that the body is undergoing an inflammatory process.

  1. It is noted for such diseases:
  • pneumonia;
  • otitis;
  • angina;
  • meningitis;
  • malaria;
  • rubella;
  • flu;
  • hepatitis and others.
  1. An increase in the number of young granulocytes occurs when purulent processes (phlegmons, abscesses) go on in the body.
  2. Often, the number of immature granulocytes is increased by chronic skin diseases (psoriasis, dermatitis).
  3. Acute bleeding also increases their number in the blood, because the body has to compensate for lost cells.
  4. The increased content of immature leucocytes in burns is recorded.
  5. The different nature of toxic factors (insect bites, lead poisoning) is another reason for the appearance of immature granulocytes in the blood.
  6. With blood pathologies (acute leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, lymphogranulomatosis, true polycythemia) immature leukocytes also increase.

If immature granulocytes are elevated in a child's blood, parents should not suspect the worst, for example, leukemia.


It is sad that this happens, but still more often the increased number of immature leukocyte cells is associated with more harmless pathologies:

  • acute infectious diseases;
  • burns, cuts with the formation of suppuration;
  • acidosis (shift of the acid-base balance towards acidity).
Normal and decreased number of eosinophils

Immature granulocytes lowered

As already mentioned, the norm is when in the human blood (with the exception of newborns and pregnant women) there are no immature granulocytes. How, then, can we talk about their reduced content in the blood? Speech in this case is about a decrease in the production of neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils by the bone marrow.

When foreign agents (toxins, pathogenic pathogens) enter the body, mature white blood cells begin to destroy them, while dying themselves. However, the bone marrow can not replace the failed white blood cells with the required number of new cells, including both immature ones.

Low content of granular white blood cells, both mature and immature, is caused by a variety of reasons. And neutrophils have their own reasons, but for eosinophils, their basophils.

  1. Deficiency of neutrophils is observed most often with:
  • neoplasms in the bone marrow (myelofibrosis, leukemia);
  • radiation sickness;
  • congenital Kostman's syndrome;
  • autoimmune pathologies (lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and others);
  • hypersplenism;
  • various types of anemia;
  • biological exhaustion of the body due to chronic alcoholism, cachexia;
  • a number of medications.
  1. The lack of eosinophils causes:
  • some acute bacterial infections;
  • burns;
  • taking a number of hormonal drugs;
  • anemia;
  • numerous injuries;
  • physical overload.
  1. The shortage of basophils results in:
  • adrenal gland dysfunction,
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • chemotherapy;
  • some hormonal medications.


Both the high content of immature granulocytes, and the lowered are not considered independent diseases with specific methods of treatment. Correction of the number of immature leukocytes in the blood is possible when eliminating the causes that caused abnormalities. Self-treatment here is unacceptable. Therapy of primary diseases should be dealt with by specialized specialists. In mild cases enough physician-therapist, and in severe cases can not do without an oncohematologist.

More information on the topic can be obtained from the video:

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