Read the big blood picture correctly

For a large blood picture a differential blood picture is created in addition to a small blood picture. Here are the three subgroups of leukocytes - the granulocytes, the monocytes and the lymphocytes - examined more closely. The following overview gives you an overview of the norm values ​​for a large blood test:

Overview of the standard values ​​of a large blood picture

Men women
Barren granulocytes150-400 / ul150-400 / ul
Segmented granulocytes3000-5800 / ul3000-5800 / ul
Eosinophilic granulocytes50-250 / μl50-250 / μl
Basophilic granulocytes15-50 / μl15-50 / μl
lymphocytes1500-3000 / μl1500-3000 / μl
monocytes285 - 500 / μl285 - 500 / μl

Lymphocytes and monocytes

An increased lymphocyte value can have different causes. Among others, certain bacterial or viral infections, cancers such as leukemia, the autoimmune disease sarcoidosis and hyperthyroidism come into question. Low levels may be due to the use of certain medications, cancers such as Hodgkin's disease, urine poisoning, Cushing's syndrome, and the autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus.

If the monocytes are elevated, this indicates an infection with bacteria, viruses or parasites. In addition, the value may also increase due to certain cancers, an inflammation of the heart or autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or sarcoidosis. A low monocyte level usually only occurs with a decrease in the total leucocyte value.


Depending on which granulocyte value is increased or too low, this may indicate different diseases. Below is an overview of possible causes.

Neutrophil granulocytes

Barrenous and segmented granulocytes are collectively called neutrophilic granulocytes.

  • Too high: stress, infections with bacteria, fungi or protozoa, acute heart disease, burns, poisoning, bleeding, medications such as glucocorticoids, hormonal contraceptives, epinephrine or lithium
  • Value too low: Certain infections such as measles, mumps, typhus, chickenpox, rubella or malaria, malignant tumors, liver cirrhosis, damage to the bone marrow, lupus erythematosus, congenital deficiency

Eosinophilic granulocytes

  • Value too high: Infections with worms, certain types of cancer, skin diseases such as psoriasis, allergic diseases, autoimmune diseases, taking medicines such as acetylsalicylic acid or penicillin
  • Value too low: Acute infections such as sepsis, inflammation of the peritoneum, pneumonia or typhus, stress, therapy with corticosteroids, Cushing's syndrome

Basophilic granulocytes

  • Value too high: chronic myeloid leukemia, polycythemia vera
  • Value too low: Occurs only when the total leukocyte value is decreased.
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